Statewide nonprofit Children’s Cancer Connection (CCC) hosted its annual family picnic and 35th anniversary celebration on Friday, June 23. The highlight of this event was the opening of the new, on-site Variety Star Playground. CCC staff and board members, as well as staff and board members from Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa, were on hand to cut the ribbon. CCC children ran excitedly onto the inclusive playground after the ribbon was cut.
“Variety has been a partner with Children’s Cancer Connection for more than 30 years because we know and understand how impactful their programs are for families and children who have or have had cancer in Iowa,” said Sheri McMichael, Executive Director of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa. “We are thrilled to be able to support this inclusive playground so children of all abilities can play and enjoy the simple fun of a playground.”
The new Star Variety Playground features a merry-go-all, an accessible forward-facing spin wheel, an arch swing, a multi-user swing, music panels, an overhead climber, slides and more. A poured-in-place rubber surfacing eases access for all users.
Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa provided the lead gift to make the playground project possible. Other project donors include: the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Mechanical Contractors Association of Iowa, The MidWestOne Bank Foundation, Cardinals Care, the Peter H. and E. Lucille Gaass Kuyper Foundation, Care Camps, GreenState Credit Union, ITA Group and Walmart.
“The support shown to bring this ADA-accessible playground to CCC’s backyard is incredible,” said Children’s Cancer Connection CEO Jennifer Hines. “CCC program participants previously had to walk long distances to get to public parks, which is challenging for children who are weakened from cancer treatment or who have mobility challenges. Now they can enjoy outdoor activity and play with friends just steps from our building.”
The addition of this playground comes in conjunction with recent interior building renovations at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Home for Hope. Future outdoor improvements include landscaping, the construction of a sport court and a ribbon-shaped walkway to serve as a reminder of those who battle childhood cancer.
CCC’s Variety Star Playground is open to the public when not being used for programs. The daily hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. Please visit www.childrenscancerconnection.org/calendar to see when programs may make the playground unavailable.
Post expires at 1:34pm on Thursday September 28th, 2023