Last October, we passed along the news of the incredible act of generosity put forth by the NFL's best center, John Sullivan of our own Minnesota Vikings. The University of Minnesota's Amplatz Children's Hospital announced that they were building a new $200,000 playground for the children that are there, and Sullivan contributed $150,000 of the funds for it. (Linebacker Chad Greenway donated $25,000, and the Vikings' Children's Fund contributed the remaining $25,000.)
Well, that dream of a new playground for the boys and girls at Amplatz is now a reality, as the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new playground will take place tomorrow at 2:30 PM Central time. According to the press release sent out by the team, the playground will have all of the following:
* Swaying benches provide a place for parents and children to relax and take in the fresh air.
* Large motor skills equipment like a climbing net gives patients' siblings a place to blow off steam.
* A "talk tube" allows children on the ground to communicate with playmates on the structure's upper deck.
* A large umbrella provides shade for kids whose treatments make them sensitive to the sun.
* A cushioned, porous surface makes it easier for children using walkers or wheelchairs to navigate the playground.
* And because some children at Amplatz must be hooked up to IVs constantly, the playground features a custom roller slide that allows kids to climb up and slide down without getting tangled up in the equipment.
The ribbon-cutting will take place at 2:30, with an open house from 3 PM to 5 PM for families and children to test out the new equipment. The playground has been named "Sullivan Playground" in honor of the Vikings' center.
Big kudos once again to John Sullivan, Chad Greenway, and the Vikings for making this happen for a group of incredibly deserving young people.