August 26, 2012

Oakland KaBOOM! Build A Success!

More than 300 volunteers from as far as England came to help build our 15th playground with our partners at KaMOOM! and a dozen other playground structures for the students of Oakland’s Community School for Creative Education.

Everyone pitched in to build, organize and clean. The KaBOOM! team had organization and logistics down to a science. Crewmembers from different cities and departments and even JetBlue pilot, Captain Russ showed up to help. All the General Managers from all the Bay Area cities, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento came early and stayed late to finish their projects. It was specially fun to watch SFO’s GM, Ken get covered in concrete dust as they mixed it for some of the play structure’s foundation.

KPFA DJ, Jose Ruiz set up his gear at 7am. He got there early and full of jokes. He and DJ Scott Manley played throughout the day. Music made the task lighter and time fly faster; their music selection was worldly, fun and upbeat.

Joi Glass from High Street’s 24-hour fitness did not disappoint. She had the volunteers’ adrenaline going before the building started and to get everyone stretched and limber for the day’s work.

People from the community, school, all walks of life and great distances came to help each other and create a good environment for kids. Everybody was dirty, sweaty yet smiling and laughing knowing that their contribution, no matter how big or small, will leave an indelible mark in the future of the school and its students.

Perhaps best summarized by CSCE’s principal, Becky Westbrook, in her speech during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with her voice cracking, her eyes swelling with tears she thanked everyone from the bottom of her heart and ended that, “it’s all for the kids.”

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