Replacement Miracle Playground Installed at Joplin
The official grand opening for the new Miracle Recreation playground at Cunningham Park in Joplin, Mo., took place on May 22 as a part of the ''Walk of Unity'' event planned in observance of the first anniversary of the deadly tornado. The new equipment has twice the capacity of the previous playground.
Cunningham Park suffered severe damage as a result of the devastating EF5 tornado in Joplin, Mo. on May 22, 2011. Located directly across from the former site of the badly damaged St. John's Hospital, the park featured two Miracle Recreation playgrounds, both of which were destroyed. Nearly a year later and during the week of May 7, the company installed replacement playgrounds with the help of volunteers and employees.
Located just over 40 miles from Joplin, several employees and their families were personally affected by the tornado. ''Our employees were deeply affected by the Joplin tragedy, and it was important to us as a company and as a member of the community to help with the rebuilding process,'' said Don Hemingway, vice president of business development for PlayPower, Inc.
Immediately following the disaster, the company implemented a ''Playgrounds 4 Joplin'' program, which generated a $25,000 contribution towards the replacement playground.
Proceeds for the purchase of the replacement playgrounds were provided by the city of Joplin and by the company through its $25,000 donation. A local installation company and about 50 Miracle employees donated their time and services to install the playground equipment. Additionally, Sam’s Club® donated bottled water, and Subway™ provided lunch to the installation crew and volunteers during each day of construction.
The new playgrounds at Cunningham Park feature nature-themed Mega Tower® structure with two-story towers and large twisting slides for children ages 5-12, and a smaller Tot’s Choice® structure for children ages 2 to 5. Whereas the original playground equipment had capacity for only 80 children, the new playground structures are much larger and can accommodate up to 190 children.