DESIGNED BY KIDS, BUILT BY VOLUNTEERS: Bristol Boys & Girls Club, Disney, ESPN and KaBOOM! Building a New Playground in Just One Day for Bristol Children


DESIGNED BY KIDS, BUILT BY VOLUNTEERS: Bristol Boys & Girls Club, Disney, ESPN and KaBOOM! Building a New Playground in Just One Day for Bristol Children

Bristol, CT – Before the sun sets on July 21, children in Bristol will have a great new place to play. Disney on behalf of ESPN is building the new playground in association with KaBOOM and the Bristol Boys & Girls Club.

The new playground will be fully assembled from scratch in less than eight hours with the help of more than 200 Boys & Girls Club volunteers, ESPN employees, KaBOOM! organizers and local community residents. Volunteers will complete the playground project in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

Disney is championing the well-being of kids and families, contributing over $1 million in 2011 to help KaBOOM! build playgrounds in 13 communities across the U.S. These playgrounds are part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living, a multimedia initiative designed to partner with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids by reinforcing their work and inspiring kids to make healthy lifestyles fun.

“Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living is a commitment we are making to kids and families who are at the heart of everything we do at Disney,” says Leslie Goodman, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Citizenship. “There’s magic in discovering all kinds of new ways to live healthy, feel great and be your best.”

The new playground will provide more than 1,200 children in the Bristol community with a safe place to play. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

“There is no greater beauty in the world than to see children smiling, laughing and simply experiencing the joy of life,” says Michael Suchopar, executive director, Bristol Boys & Girls Club. “This new playground will allow so many children of our community to climb, swing and play while they share time with their peers and participate in healthy movement and exercise. ESPN and Disney repeatedly show their dedication and commitment to the development of children from diverse backgrounds; we are so fortunate that the City of Bristol and its children are recipients of their benevolence. I thank ESPN, Disney and the City of Bristol for this project and for their commitment to building stronger and healthier communities by touching the lives of children; children who will learn at an early age that as long as they have self determination and the support of others, they have all they need so they too can be great.”

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May when local children and community leaders met with organizers from ESPN and KaBOOM! to design their dream playground. The children’s drawings will be used to create the final playground design.

“The City of Bristol is so very thankful to Disney, KaBOOM, Team ESPN and the Bristol Boys and Girls Club & Family Center for their dedication to the well-being of the children of Bristol,” said Mayor Art Ward. “Bristol is well known for its beautiful parks system and this project is just another example of how the City of Bristol takes pleasure in the benefit of outdoor activities that are healthy and fun.”

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to play. For 15 years, KaBOOM! has been fighting the Play Deficit, and this project is one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2011 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

Bristol Boys & Girls Club

Our mission is simple, yet it offers so many children the opportunity to… BE GREAT. We provide a safe, fun, and supportive environment where all boys and girls, especially those who need us most, can have educational, recreational and character building experiences that help them develop self esteem as well as the qualities needed to become caring and responsible citizens. We help children to build dreams, and to develop the skills that they need to achieve those dreams.

Bristol Parks & Recreation

It is the mission of the Bristol Parks & Recreation Department to provide a wide range of recreational and leisure opportunities in an effort to enhance the quality of life for all Bristol residents and promote positive physical, social and emotional experiences. In our effort to achieve this goal we will continue to provide safe, attractive and well maintained facilities.

Disney Corporate Citizenship

Disney Corporate Citizenship focuses on three key principles: act and create in an ethical manner; champion the happiness and well-being of kids and families; and inspire those around us to make a lasting, positive change in the world. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. We strive to support that goal through quality entertainment, strategic philanthropy, environmental conservation, respectful workplaces, and community engagement.  For more information, please visit:


Team ESPN encompasses ESPN’s multi-faceted corporate outreach initiatives, including volunteerism, corporate giving and cause marketing, while utilizing its diverse media assets.  Through Team ESPN, ESPN employees and fans work together to make a difference in our world and the communities in which we live.   ESPN has funded and volunteered for numerous projects in the Bristol community.  Team ESPN’s slogan is Fans Helping Fans®.  For more information, please visit:

Disney Magic of Healthy Living

Through the Magic of Healthy Living initiative, Disney is partnering with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids. With entertaining content, useful tools, and engaging experiences, the program reinforces the work of parents and inspires kids by making healthy lifestyles simple and fun. Magic of Healthy Living builds on the landmark nutritional guidelines Disney introduced in 2006. For more information, please visit:

Disney VoluntEARS

The Disney VoluntEARS program, launched in 1983, provides opportunities for cast members and employees to give their time, treasures, and talent back to local communities. In 2010, Disney VoluntEARS contributed 548,000 hours of service. VoluntEARS projects include working with and helping children, collecting and delivering toys, preserving the environment and supporting arts and culture. For more information, please visit www.disney/citizenship2010.


KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit


Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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