Volunteers put up playground in Cocoa

Disney cruise employees build playground, participate in design session

COCOA, Fla. - A few hours of shore leave for a group Disney cruise employees was spent building a playground Saturday in Cocoa, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reported.

After the Fantasy docked at 6:30 a.m., 25 crew members left Port Canaveral for the new Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida location on Dixon Boulevard.

"They got off the ship, came over and started working," said Anthony Connelly, chief operating officer for Disney Cruise Line. "This was their day to contribute and have a fun time, so they are out here having a blast."

By 5 p.m., the crew was back on the ship leaving port for another seven-day Caribbean cruise.

During the day, they were among nearly 250 volunteers who pitched to construct the playground for the 30th Boys & Girls Club in Central Florida, which is expected to open next month.

Volunteers covered the 4,200-square-foot playground with 235 cubic yards of mulch and mixed 300 80-pound bags of concrete to anchor the equipment.

The project was coordinated by Disney and national non-profit KaBOOM!, an organization that promotes play opportunities for children.

In August, students at nearby Endeavour Elementary participated in a design session where they suggested their favorite playground equipment, including a climbing wall, swings and slides.

The facility at 814 Dixon Boulevard is expected to open Dec. 16 and can accommodate 150 children daily, according to Gary Cain, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida.

He hopes the club can bring hope to the children in the area.

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