DOWNTOWN — Organizers hope that more than 200 volunteers will converge Saturday on a bare spot of land near the Nick Capitano Boys and Girls Club near downtown. When they leave at the end of the day, a playground could stand where before there was nothing more than dirt.
This collaborative construction effort is the result of a partnership between KaBOOM, the Boys and Girls Club and the MetLife Foundation. The project, which took weeks of planning, began Oct. 1 with a set of 20 designs. These early blueprints were not the strict plans of an architect drafted carefully in technical pencil, but the honest dreams of children scrawled in bright crayon.
"Every build we do is so unique because we base every playground we build on the drawings of those children involved," said Mike Vietti, communications manager for KaBOOM, a national nonprofit organization that has been pairing community leaders with funding partners since 1995.
The organization has assisted in building more than 1,500 playgrounds across the country with one simple vision in mind: a place to play within walking distance for every child.
The Tampa project is valued at $42,000. The majority of the funding comes from the MetLife Foundation, with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay contributing as well.
Volunteers will build the playground from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. More are needed, and kids are welcome. Peanuts character Snoopy will "oversee" the process and entertain the children.