Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour joined 275 volunteers for a KaBOOM! Operation Playground build in Long Beach, MS on March 14. Despite a thunderstorm that left the builders soaked, the volunteers built a beautiful playground for the community.
United Jewish Communities, Alpha Epsilon Pi National Fraternity, and the Long Beach Civic Club provided the volunteers, who moved 190 (very wet) cubic yards of engineered wood fiber, mixed 275 bags of concrete, and filled planters with 110 bags of potting soil and loads of dirt. Gov. Barbour, pictured in the white shirt in the center of the photo, put on a volunteer shirt and got right into the action – he's a true playmaker! He also recognized KaBOOM! for our outstanding work in the rebuilding effort on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Long Beach mayor Billie Skellie also came to the build and proclaimed the day "Volunteer Day," giving a plaque to KaBOOM! CEO Darell Hammond, pictured at far right.
The playground and several side projects were done by 3 p.m. Kids from the community made thank-you banners and painted images of what they like best about Long Beach, which were hung on the park fence.
"On my way home last night, there was a group of people on my street who said they were going to the new playground to let their kids play," planning committee member Mag Holland said after the build. "I told them they had to wait for Saturday. All the kids were made at me. They can't wait 'till Saturday!"