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BGE, Salvation Army and KaBOOM! team up to build a playground for Annapolis Children

The playground, designed by children ages 3 – 15, was built in just one day by volunteers

6/21/2013, 11:45 a.m.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) employee volunteers teamed up with the Salvation Army of Annapolis and Southern Maryland, KaBOOM!, ...
Volunteers hard at work Courtesy photo

— Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) employee volunteers teamed up with the Salvation Army of Annapolis and Southern Maryland, KaBOOM!, and residents of the Annapolis community to build a new, safer playground at the Salvation Army facility. Nearly 200 volunteers, more than half of whom, were BGE employees, gathered on Friday, June 14, 2013, in the early morning hours to spend the day building a new playground from the ground up. Planning for the playground began at a special “design day” event held in May when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM!, BGE and The Salvation Army to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final design.

Mayor Josuha Cohen encourages the volunteers

Courtesy photo

Mayor Josuha Cohen encourages the volunteers

“Whether it’s through charitable giving or employee volunteer opportunities, BGE has a rich history of enhancing the communities we serve,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Just as BGE takes very seriously our commitment to enhancing neighborhoods across central Maryland, our employees are just as strongly dedicated to giving back to communities through their own charitable giving and volunteer support. Together with our customers, we actively and enthusiastically team up with organizations, such as KaBOOM! and the Salvation Army, that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where our customers and employees live and work. In addition to our charitable sponsorship, we had nearly 100 employees that excitedly participated in the KaBOOM! playground build. At BGE, our top priority is the safety of customers, employees and their families and we are proud to be a part of an event that will provide a safe play area for the children of Annapolis. We are excited to continue to team up with KaBOOM! in the future to build safe playgrounds for our customers and their children across our entire service area.”

The new playground will provide more than 1,200 children in the community with a safe place to play. This playground will serve the hundreds of children that participate in Salvation Army programs throughout the year and those who live within walking distance. As part of the three organizations “joint efforts to promote a healthy, safe community, this playground will provide invaluable space to help the children stay active. The existing playground was built in 1962 and is no longer in use, as it has been deemed unsafe.

“We are so very pleased to work together with hundreds of volunteers and stakeholders to build such an amazing play space,” said Captain Richard New, corps officer for The Salvation Army of Annapolis and Southern Maryland. “We are so very grateful to BGE for providing and KaBOOM! for facilitating such a wonderful addition to our community.”

Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.

The playground was the first to be built by KaBOOM! and BGE and is one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2013 in an effort to fulfill its vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Volunteers constructed the playground in about six hours, which included moving 43,740 square feet of mulch, and constructing picnic tables, all without the use of power tools.

The tools the volunteers used for the build were provided through the Baltimore Community ToolBank, a nonprofit organization that provides an inventory of tools— shovels, rakes, drills and much more— for lending to charitable organizations to increase the impact of their mission-related efforts in the community. For just three cents on the dollar per week, nonprofit organizations, faith-based and educational institutions, community groups, neighborhood associations and their volunteers now have access to the tools and equipment they need to renovate, renew and revitalize.

As part of its commitment to enhancing the communities it serves throughout central Maryland, BGE supports nonprofit organizations through funding and volunteer efforts on programs that help deliver a measurable impact in the areas of education, energy efficiency, environment, emergency response and economic and community development. Together with its customers, BGE actively and enthusiastically teams up with organizations that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where both BGE customers and employees live and work. Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help improve the quality of life in central Maryland.

For more information on BGE’s commitment to charitable giving and dedicated employee volunteers, visit: bge.com/ourcommitments.