Credit unions and National Journal are honoring the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa by upgrading and revitalizing a playground at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The project will show the credit union philosophy of “People helping People” in action.
Leading up to August’s 2012 Republican National Convention, credit unions will work to convert an existing playground space into a rehabilitative playground featuring specially designed equipment to assist special needs children and those recovering from traumatic injuries through “play therapy.”
Patrick La Pine, President/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), representing credit unions in Alabama and Florida, noted that working with All Children’s Hospital is natural given that credit unions in Tampa-St. Petersburg have a long history with the hospital. “Credit unions in the Tampa-St. Pete region have a history of supporting All Children’s – from donating $1.5M to All Children’s to creating a 28-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to financing a state-of-the art dialysis wing to a new autism center. By working together with the Republican Convention on this playground project, credit unions have an opportunity to reinforce that they are local and give back to their community.”
The effort represents a tradition of credit unions honoring cities that host the national party conventions with “leave-behind” projects that serve the local communities long after the conventions have left town. The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, an affiliate of the LSCU, will head up the fundraising for the $300,000 needed to cover the costs of the project.
“We know how powerful therapeutic play can be in the rehabilitation process of our children,” said Jonathan Ellen, MD, Physician-in-Chief and Interim President of All Children’s Hospital. “We appreciate that the National Journal, and credit unions are coming together to make our vision of a therapeutic playground a reality for All Children’s patients and their families.”
Construction will begin in the spring and last throughout the summer. The project will include volunteer opportunities for credit union employees to lend a personal hand. A ribbon-cutting will take place during the week of the Convention, August 27-30. A companion project is being undertaken by credit unions at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Mutual Group, and National Journal, a Washington, DC-based publication covering politics and policy, will also provide support for the projects.