General News
Posted April 12, 2012
Credit Unions, National Journal to Refresh and Revitalize Therapeutic Playground at All Children’s Hospital

Credit unions and National Journal kicked off the renovation of a therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital on April 11 in honor of the upcoming 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. Groundbreaking for the new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Congressman Bill Young (FL-10)  and several members of the Florida Legislature were joined at the ceremonial groundbreaking by Dr. Jonathan Ellen of All Children's, National Journal Group's Beth Reinhard and credit union representatives, including President/CEO Patrick La Pine and Mike Mercer, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Board Chair.

In the months leading up to August's 2012 Republican National Convention, credit unions and National Journal will work to convert existing playground space, located directly across the street from the hospital's new Child Development and Rehabilitation Center at the corner of 6th Street and 9th Avenue S. into a rehabilitative playground featuring state-of-the-art, specially designed equipment to assist special needs children and those recovering from traumatic injuries through "play therapy." The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation 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."

"Seeing all these groups come together to provide a safe place where children can rehabilitate while at the same time play and have fun is a way in which they can give back to our area and demonstrate what the spirit of the upcoming convention is all about," said Congressman Bill Young of Florida's 10th District.  "After the last balloon has dropped and everyone has gone, this playground will still be here to help the recovery and bring enjoyment to the children and families who are patients at All Children's Hospital."

"All Children's Hospital has been a vital force in the St. Petersburg community for many years," said St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.  "I am grateful to everyone who is helping to make this playground a lasting legacy for the families of St. Pete."

"Credit unions in the Tampa-St. Pete region have a long 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," said Patrick La Pine, President/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU).  "We are very excited to be partnering with National Journal on this playground project. It allows us to demonstrate that credit unions are local and give more to their communities than just financial services."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will mark the end of the construction and the opening of the playground, will take place during the week of the Republican National Convention, August 27-30.