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Broncos join local KaBOOM! playground build


The Broncos partnered up with CarMax and KaBOOM! to help Rocky Mountain Communities build a new playground.

DENVER — **This morning, the courtyard at the Garden Court Community was barren, little more than mud. But with the help of dozens of volunteers, the same ground had become a brand new playground just within seven hours.

The steel and plastic playground structures had been put together and arranged, the mulch had been sprinkled and spread around, the cement holding the poles to form had been set. It was a long process, but nothing a group of volunteers that size couldn't accomplish in one day.

Intent on giving the community's children a new place to safely play, the volunteers split up to conquer the task at hand. Some hauled the mulch to the playground from a big pile, some painted a train-shaped playhouse, some put together benches or the playground equipment, some mixed concrete, and eventually it all came together.

The Broncos were on hand, some of the staff participating as volunteers and the cheerleaders were there to cheer on at the beginning with Miles, and offensive linemen Manny Ramirez and Louis Vasquez joined in to put the finishing touches on the playground.

"It's just part of giving back to the community, especially with all the support they give us," Ramirez said. "Just being able to return the favor in every possible little way that we can—it is our day off, but it is the kind of stuff we enjoy. I, for one, have kids, so I know how much this means to them. And going back to growing up, I didn't really have much nice areas to be able to go out and play and not have to worry about anything and just being able to give back and be part of the future of little kids being able to come here and enjoy their time, it means a lot."

The event came about through the partnership of four key organizations: the CarMax Foundation, KaBOOM!, Rocky Mountain Communities, and the Denver Broncos. KaBOOM! has been building playgrounds for communities since 1995, and has built more than 2,000 playgrounds since their inception. This playground is the 14th of a partnership between KaBOOM! and the CarMax Foundation.

The playground that was put into the ground Tuesday came to life following a two-month planning process with Rocky Mountain Communities, KaBOOM! and CarMax associates.

But it's much more than just a playground, and I don't just mean that they also built benches and planters.

"While it starts with the playground, it's much more of a community space, so in addition to the playground structure, we're building shade and benches and planters and we're doing murals to really make this a focal point for this community, a multi-generational place so while the kids are playing or the grandkids are playing, the parents are socializing and getting to know each other and networking with the community," said Leslie Parpart, manager of the CarMax Foundation.

Being able to give the kids and families a positive presence and safe space to congregation and in which to play is an invaluable resource, and it goes hand in hand with the Broncos and NFL's Play 60 campaign effort to encourage children to get 60 minutes of activity a day.

And after Tuesday's quick construction, the children at the Garden Court Community have a place to have fun outdoors within just a short walk.

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