Those readers whom have been with us since the beginnings of this endeavor may remember the Christmas post by Promise on the old blogspot site. It contained a Youtube clip of the Coast Chorale, a non profit coastal community chorus singing for Broadway entertainers who came here in December 2005 to spread some Christmas cheer through music and song.
The Chorale was out and singing early on after the storm, initially for the first responders at the local hospital and later for anyone who came here to work with the slabbed while we dug out from the ruin. Today they are in Washington DC with western Pennsylvania on tap in their goodwill tour to say a personal thank you through singing to the “Buck-Mont” communities that turned out big for Hancock County after the storm.
For those that missed that early post here is a video of one of their songs from December 2005.
Last night they sang for KaBOOM in Washington DC. KaBOOM is a nonprofit group that recently completed it’s 100th playground on our post Katrina coast. Here is a recent video report from WLOX on that 100th playground in Bay St Louis. Al Showers of WLOX will be covering the Buck-Mont portion of the trip this weekend and we’ll bring you that and perhaps some of our own pictures next week. Following is the print story about KaBOOM and their playgrounds from the WLOX website.
Dozens of kids anxiously awaited Monday morning as KaBOOM leaders wiped down playground equipment, fresh with morning dew. The playground was just installed Saturday. Now, two days later, kids were lining up for their first chance to test it out.
When the time had come, they all counted down the invasion in unison.”Five, four, three, two, one . . . KaBOOM!”
“It’s why we do what we do. Seeing the kids run on the playground, there’s no other feeling like it,” said KaBOOM’s Sarah Pinsky.
Her dream of building safe places for kids to play after Katrina has finally come true.
“Being able to complete the 100th playground is so important because we made a commitment, and we really wanted to show folks we are here, we were going to stay; we were going to fulfill that commitment,” Pinsky said.
Two and a half years and 21,000 volunteers later, KaBOOM has reached their goal of 100 playgrounds. The pay-off – smiles on some 45,000 young faces.
“There’s something about the joy on a child’s face, and even knowing you’ve had a tiny part in creating it, it’s a really incredible feeling,” Pinsky said. “I’ll take it with me, and I’ll keep it for the rest of my life; I’ll never forget this day.”
Nor will neighbors, who say their beloved Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial park has never looked better. Willie Acker has lived next to the park for 45 years.
“This is the first quality improvement that’s been made in years. The park has come alive,” Acker said.
Judging from the sounds on the slides, ladders, and merry-go-rounds, it’s more alive than ever. Kids say their favorite part of their new play area is KaBOOM’s tallest slide ever! And KaBOOM wants kids to know, there’s more to come.
Pinsky pointed out, “There’s a lot of work to do, so we’ve taken time out to celebrate reaching 100, we got a lot more work to do, and we’re going to do it.”