BAYSIDE, N.Y. - On Friday, Sept. 23, members of the Queens College men's and women's basketball and softball teams helped with the building of a new playground for more than 2,000 kids at the Bay Terrace Center. The Knights were introduced to the project by Jessica Sanchez, women's basketball alum (Class of 2008), the Assistant Athletic Director at the Samuel Field Y.
The Knights helped put up the play space in less than eight hours along with more than 300 volunteers from the Samuel Field Y, Disney, community members and organizers from KaBOOM!.
The student-athletes were up bright and early assembling playground pieces, mixing concrete, moving dirt and mulch, and helping paint. As student-athletes, they understand firsthand the importance of an active lifestyle and how essential it is in a child's life.
Beyond the build, the student-athletes also had a chance to interact with a few of the kids from the community. The athletes made such a great impression on these kids that a parent felt the need to reach out and thank them personally.
"Having brought my 8-year-old son, who was one of the children who helped "design" the playground, the highlight of his day was not the playground, but getting to hang around with your team. It may not have been a big deal to your guys, but they made the day of a little kid."
After a long day of work each of our athletes knew they had not only helped in building a better playground but better yet a stronger and happier community.
Women's basketball sophomore Kaitlyn Mahon said of the experience, "I think the whole day was a rewarding experience. I had never done anything like that before, so it was cool to see how all the hard work we put in turned into something so beneficial for others."
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of ensuring that all children get the balanced and active play they need to thrive because #PlayMatters. The new playground is one of many made possible with support from Disney as part of The Walt Disney Company Healthy Living Commitment, a long-standing commitment to creating healthier generations by making healthy living fun and simple.
KaBOOM! works to accelerate efforts that move every child in America to play every day. Together with Disney, more than 70 new play spaces across America give thousands of kids access to healthier lifestyles, along with a safe and fun place to play and grow.