The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Danville, Pennsylvania provides a “home away from home” for families of children who are hospitalized or receiving outpatient care at area hospitals. The staff and volunteers work to provide a warm and comforting environment, giving families an opportunity to relax, spend time with each other and find support through meeting others who share similar struggles.
Providing a fun and safe place for outdoor play is also important to help make children and families feel comfortable when staying at a Ronald McDonald House. Unfortunately, an existing playground on the Danville RMH property was old and the equipment was no longer safe for use, as it hadn’t been updated since 1999.
With the outdated and unsafe play space closed, Ann Blugis, director of development and communications for the Danville Ronald McDonald House, didn’t want too much time to pass before having another playground installed. She turned to Playworld and several months later, children and their families started enjoying the brand new, inclusive play space.
“The feedback has been nothing but positive,” said Blugis. “It warms your heart to walk by the windows and see families and kids laughing. The playground helps provide a sense of normalcy for parents and children who are dealing with a significant amount of stress.”
The playground, which had its grand opening in May 2016, includes three different slides, a variety of climbers, Unity® Steppers, a Spring Rider and transfer station. According to Blugis, the slides are undoubtedly the most popular pieces of equipment. The playground is also home to a Cozy Cocoon™, which provides an enclosed space for a child to escape the playground when overstimulated.
In addition to inclusion, shade was another important consideration for the playground’s design. The play space at the Danville RMH features Playworld’s modular Hypar Shade product. It provides much needed shade, allowing those with sun sensitivities to play longer.
“I hear from countless family members who are grateful to have the playground on the Ronald McDonald House property,” said Blugis. “It’s a space where their child can just be a child – free to run, laugh and enjoy the fresh air.”