Reading (May 11, 2011) – NFL Players John Gilmore and Chad Henne are gearing up to make a difference for Berks County’s children this summer with a slate of activities that range from a summer camp in Reading’s Sixth Ward to the complete overhaul and rehabilitation of two local playgrounds in two days.
“We started the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund at Berks County Community Foundation to make sure kids from our hometown have safe, clean parks to play in,” Gilmore said. “We work hard to include the neighbors in the planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance so that we’re not just rebuilding parks, but we’re building communities as well.”
Gilmore and Henne are taking advantage of the current NFL labor stoppage to set their local summer programs in motion. They would normally spend the spring months in football-related team activities and training.
“This year, we’re building on the success we had last year at Second and Oley playground,” Henne said. “The park there looks great, but more importantly, the neighbors are taking care of it and making sure it stays a safe place for kids to play. Our program is working. The more parks we’re able to fix up, the better it will be for the kids.”
Highlights of this summer’s activities include :
Summer Camp at Second and Oley: The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund’s first project was the rehabilitation of the Second and Oley playground in Reading last year. Beginning June 14, with help from interns and volunteers, the fund will run an eleven-week day camp for children ages 12 and under from the neighborhood.
Rally for Recreation Comedy Showcase and Benefit presented by FROMUTH: On June 24, the Rally for Recreation Comedy Showcase and Benefit presented by FROMUTH will once again transform the Sovereign Performing Arts Center into a multi-level night club with comedy, food, music, and all-star entertainment. The Rally for Recreation is the primary fundraising event for the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund, with net proceeds providing grants for park renovations and summer programs. Tickets for the Rally for Recreation are available at the Sovereign Center box office or via Ticketmaster.
2 Parks in 2 Days: On July 9th and 10th neighborhood volunteers will converge on Barbey’s Park at Elm Street and Schuylkill Avenue in Reading and at the Temple Playground at Fire Alley and Euclid Avenue in Muhlenberg Township to clean, paint, and rebuild the neighborhood parks.
In addition to the activities listed above, the fund will hold neighborhood planning meetings leading up to the 2 Parks in 2 Days event.
“We’re lucky to have volunteers from within the communities where the playgrounds are located, as well as volunteers from local businesses, schools, and nonprofit organizations,” Gilmore said. “We’ve discovered that the old saying ‘many hands make light work’ rings true when it comes to creating safe, clean play areas for local kids.”
More information about the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund’s summer activities is available online at www.ghcommunityfund.com.
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing and distributing funds to meet existing and emerging community needs. The foundation currently manages nearly 400 funds valued at more than $50 million.