THE RALPH C. WILSON JR. FOUNDATION HELPED SPARK A “PLAYABILITY” MOVEMENT LEADING COMMUNITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE CHILDREN HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE SPACES TO PLAY.
Play matters and every child deserves a safe place to play and to learn – to create, explore, solve and imagine – no matter their age, physical ability or background. Unfortunately, many children don’t have the benefit of accessible safe spaces, which is why we partnered with the Wilson Foundation to help spread this movement to communities where it is needed.
Through the Blue Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s health-focused grant program, we invested $300,000 to build two new local playgrounds. In July, our employees were among 200 community volunteers who moved more than 240 cubic yards of mulch, mixed 300 bags of concrete and assembled 33 playground pieces to transform and beautify an empty site in Mayors Park along the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground – in just six hours.
As a community-based, not-for profit health plan, the Blue Fund is our commitment to creating a healthier future for the place we call home. We believe that playgrounds are an investment in individual health, and also impact the health of our community more broadly. Playgrounds built by local residents, with the support of corporate sponsors, become places of pride and help strengthen a sense of community. Like a town square, they serve as gathering places that bring people together in a healthy, safe and friendly environment.
We’re excited to have opened another brand-new playground at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Buffalo – the second playground that our company recently built from the ground up in partnership with the Wilson Foundation, KaBOOM! and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
David W. Anderson
President and CEO