More than 200 volunteers from the Washington Redskins, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, Clark Construction Group, the Community Preservation and Development Corporation and KaBOOM! gathered Friday to build a new playground for the Cedar Heights community in Southeast.
Mark Rypien, Dion Foxx, Dan Ryzcek and Ken Jenkins were among the Redskins alumni who helped build the playground in less than six hours. Niles Paul was the only current player, and Dan Snyder arrived for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Snyder spoke briefly with the media afterward and was asked why it’s important to be involved in these types of projects.
“Because we’re so influential in the community, to have players come out for this type of support and really get involved,” he said. “So, we’re excited about it.”
And is he excited about his football team?
“We are very excited about it,” he said. “Yeah, we’re excited.”
And does he like the addition of DeSean Jackson?
“Of course we do,” Snyder said. “He’ll look very nice in burgundy and gold.”
So, lots of excitement in few words.
KaBOOM! project manager Lauren Allen was excited to see the playground come to fruition.
“We look for sites that are really committed to giving their kids a great place to play and communities that are into making this a community event,” she said. “A lot of planning went into the last two months to make sure today went smoothly.”
Allen said about 50 percent of the volunteers at Friday’s build were residents or community volunteers. More than 100 kids live in the Cedar Heights apartments.
In addition to the playground, volunteers built an amphitheater with a stage and picnic tables.
“Signing up for it, I didn’t think I’d be out here doing manual labor, but I am, and I’m enjoying it,” said Paul, who did some serious work on the swing set. “I’m a handyman. I feel like when I get home, I’m going to try to fix everything in my house instead of calling maintenance.”