After hours of hard work from Blue Jackets alumni and front office staff members, as well as Columbus Recreation and Parks employees, Beatty Park now has a brand new playground!
"It's important to us that we are a good community partner," Interim Executive Director of CBJ Foundation Katie Matney said. "When the Mayor made his commitment to provide a playground within a half mile of every child in Central Ohio, we wanted to step up and play a big role in that."
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation has committed $400,000 to build eight playgrounds over the course of four years. The Beatty Park playground is the 5th the team has built over the last three years with the goal of ultimately having a playground within a half mile of every home.
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The Blue Jackets aren't doing this alone. They have the support of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and are also working hand in hand with Columbus Recreation and Parks who has helped them with previous builds in the city.
"We support our Jackets. Why do we support our Jackets? Because our Jackets support us, and the fans that support the Foundation are investing into neighborhoods and playgrounds across our great city," Mayor Ginther said. "They say we are the fifth line for our Jackets, well the Jackets and the Foundation are the fifth line for Columbus neighborhoods."
In addition to the financial contribution, CBJ front office staff members have collectively volunteered over 220 hours to build the Beatty Park playground. Mayor Ginther was sure that this did not go unnoticed.
"Let's give it up for all the volunteers that helped put this together, so that these capital kids and their friends and folks throughout the neighborhood have access to a safe place to play," he said. "Now that's a legacy, that's something with a long-standing impact on the children and families of this community and neighborhoods across our great city."
Notable CBJ participants included alumni Jody Shelley, Jared Boll and Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre as well as team president Mike Priest.
"We understand the wonderful community we live in, and it only gets that way by doing things like this." Shelley said.
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"The fan base understands that the Blue Jackets are more than just a hockey team," Grand-Pierre said.