New playground getting lots of attention

July 20, 2011 3:37:42 PM PDT
Organizers are gearing up for a big event in West Philadelphia this weekend.

They and a host of celebrities will join forces to build a new playground in the area for kids who need it the most.

Organizers toured the site where this Saturday more than 50 volunteers from Keystone Mercy Health Plan will participate in the building of a new playground next to Bible Way Baptist Church.

It's part of Keystone Mercy's Safe Playground Program.

"This will be the eleventh playground that Keystone Mercy has really put together with the community," Maria Pagil battle of Keystone Mercy said.

Bible Way acquired the land through Philadelphia's Redevelopment Authority.

The project, also sponsored by Wells Fargo, has welcomed community activist Charlie Mack.

"We got 30 to 40 celebrities confirmed and will be here on location building this playground," Mack said.

The goal is to reduce the number of injuries children suffer when playing on older equipment by giving them a fun, safe haven in the form of a new state-of-the- art playground.

"For the last two decades, this has been dangerous ground so it's very important that we give back to the kids and let them play in a safe environment and a healthy environment," Mack said.

16-year-old Lheshan Lee says her four younger siblings can't wait til the project is completed.

When told the playground would be open Saturday afternoon, we asked when she would bring her brothers and sisters.

"Saturday afternoon," Lheshan quickly replied.

The celebrities will be at 52nd and Master streets, bright and early on Saturday.

The playground should be completed by mid-afternoon, but Keystone Mercy and Charlie Mack are looking for more volunteers and more donations to help maintain the playground long after this weekend.