Volunteers from Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, Bright Beginnings and the community joined KaBOOM! on Saturday, Nov. 17, to transform an empty site into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in just six hours at Bright Beginnings. The new playground will help make play the easy choice for kids and families in Washington, D.C.
In September, children from the surrounding community came together to draw their dream playground with Capitals forward Tom Wilson. The playground is based off their drawings and will provide safe play to the neighborhood and to families affiliated with Bright Beginnings. The pre-kindergarten site serves children ages three and four.
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and assistant coaches Tony Brown, Robert Pack, Ryan Richman, Mike Terpstra, Kristi Toliver and Maz Trakh kicked off the build by stopping by to assemble a difficult piece of playground equipment before heading to practice. Mystics player Natasha Cloud also participated in the build by assembling a piece of playground equipment.
Volunteers worked hard to make Bright Beginnings’ dream playground a reality while battling the brisk autumn weather and muddy conditions from a snow and ice storm earlier in the week. Several volunteers came out during the storm to prep the build site, unload the playground equipment, sort hardware, make signs and cut wood in the snow, sleet and rain.
Some highlights of the playground include several slides, including a train-themed slide, a teeter-totter, enrichment stations and several large wooden benches. Volunteers mixed and transported cement and assembled and carried equipment until the playground was installed. Wizards mascot G-Wiz, Wizards Dancers and Capitals Spirit Squad members not only brought cheer to the build but also took part in constructing several different projects.
Lunch was generously donated by Papa Johns and Subway.
There are approximately 2,700 children under the age of six in Washington, D.C., who are currently experiencing homelessness and have limited access to a quality education. The Bright Beginnings PK-3/4 site provides children, impacted by the trauma of homelessness, a safe, nurturing environment where they can prosper and succeed. Every child deserves access to a well-rounded education, even during times of hardship and transition. By incorporating an age-appropriate playground, Bright Beginnings children will get to enjoy the gift of a well-rounded education.
This playground is part of a broader effort led by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation and KaBOOM! to ensure communities have great PLAYces for kids and families. It will be the fifth build by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. Through this partnership, Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation and KaBOOM! are creating an oasis where kids feel valued and loved, and where their potential is supported, nurtured and celebrated. This September, in partnership with the Bowser Administration and Events DC, Monumental Sports & Entertainment helped opened a new state-of-the-art Entertainment and Sports Arena at the St. Elizabeths East Campus in Ward 8 in an effort to further support and strengthen the Ward 8 community.
Created in 2013, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Valor and Wizards; Baltimore Brigade; and Capital City Go-Go. The charitable initiatives of these teams now fall under the Monumental Sports & Entertainment umbrella, aligning their causes and unifying their giving enables us to have the greatest impact on our community. MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact and engagement with the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness.