WILLMAR, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Willmar Area Community Foundation with a $100,000 grant to help build Willmar’s Destination Playground.
The grant is part of the Minnesota Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The Willmar Destination Playground spans over 19,000 square feet and is located at Robbins Island Park, a large municipal park central to the surrounding community. The playground features surface areas and playground equipment that is specially designed so children of all ages and physical abilities can access and safely play. The Willmar Area Community Fund helped organize the playground project. It helped raised funds, invited local children of all backgrounds and abilities to contribute to its design and organized hundreds of volunteers to build the playground.
The MNSBHC joined a special grand opening today hosted by the Willmar Area Community Foundation and other organizations involved in playground project at Robbins Island Park. At the event, in addition to celebrating the grant from the MNSBHC Legacy Fund, Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin received a key to the park and spoke to local youth about the importance of physical activity. After the commemoration, children in attendance were among the first to play at the new playground.
On Saturday, June 24 the City of Willmar will hold A Community Day of Play following the WillmarFest parade to officially open the new playground. The Vikings SKOL Line will join the parade on to help celebrate the MNSBHC Legacy Fund’s role in the overall playground build project.
“The Willmar Destination Playground will have a huge impact on children in our community. We are so proud to build a playground that was built with children of all ages and abilities in mind,” said Sara Carlson, Executive Director, Willmar Area Community Foundation. “We are so proud of this community for helping to raise funds to build this playground but also in coming together to organize and carry out the playground build.”
The project is a collaborative effort with the City of Willmar, Marcus Construction, Leathers Playgrounds Incorporated and other partners through services and donations. The City of Willmar has agreed to assume all maintenance costs once the playground is complete, and will include it in their annual Parks and Recreation budget. Public Works staff will assist in planning and construction to ensure the park meets City requirements.
“The Destination Playground project is a testament to the wonderful community spirit of Willmar. Families in this town have come together to create a park that is accessible for all children in the community,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are grateful for the chance to be able to help leave a legacy for many generations of children in Willmar.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.