Helping to provide a safe place to play for more than 500 Orlando children, Disney VoluntEARS recently joined a KaBOOM! construction crew to build a new playground at UCP’s Pine Hills campus.

More than 200 volunteers – including Disney VoluntEARS, UCP of Central Florida supporters and local residents – participated in the project led by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring children’s access to active play. In less than eight hours, the crew assembled a labyrinth of brightly colored playground equipment to create a kid-designed playplace. Special rubber surfacing will be added later to better accommodate children with disabilities.

“There’s nothing Disney VoluntEARS enjoy more than bringing smiles to children’s faces,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “Our Cast Members are proud to be part of community projects that help strengthen children and families through healthy play.”

The playground’s design was based on local children’s “dream” drawings, which were collected during a special Design Day event in February. After volunteer builders put the finishing touches on the construction, they dedicated the new play area during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We are so grateful to KaBOOM! and Disney for helping us enrich the lives of our UCP Pine Hills students by building this amazing playground,” said UCP CEO/President Ilene Wilkins. “We truly believe that play is the gateway to opening up creative minds and helping all of our students to live healthy lifestyles.”

Since its founding in 1996, KaBOOM! has worked with community partners to build, improve and open more than 16,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1 million volunteers and serve more than 7.4 million children. KaBOOM! helps create playgrounds, empowers play advocates and elevates awareness about the importance of play in children’s lives.

The new playground is one of dozens made possible with support from Disney as part of Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that joins with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. Through this collaboration, more than 500 kids in Orlando will have a safe place to play where they can tap into their creativity, develop their imagination and learn about living a healthy lifestyle.