On the day before the 2007 Annual Meeting, volunteers, including 2006-2007 AAOS President Richard F. Kyle, MD, and current First Vice President E. Anthony Rankin, MD, helped construct a playground in Chula Vista, Calif.


Published 9/1/2007
Addy Kujawa

Be part of a 24-hour makeover

AAOS playground builds transform parks

On Tuesday, March 4, 2008 (the day before the 75th Anniversary Annual Meeting kicks off), join the AAOS in San Francisco’s Balboa Park and be part of a true makeover that rivals any renovation you might see on a reality TV show.

In just one day, AAOS volunteers—orthopaedic surgeons and their families, orthopaedic nurses, industry partners, orthopaedic state and specialty society members, and Academy staff—along with community volunteers and related organizations will turn a barren piece of land into a child’s dream playground. Nor is the result just any playground; the Balboa Park playground will be more than 6,000 square feet of fun where children with and without disabilities can play together.

A new millennium tradition
The AAOS has been building playgrounds in Annual Meeting host cities since 2000. Although every playground is different, each represents a legacy of caring for children. The 2008 site in San Francisco’s Balboa Park serves one of the most diverse, needy, and family-centered areas in the city.

Why Balboa Park? Consider the following statistics:

  • The Balboa Park district ranks second in the number of children within a district, and fourth in the number of children in poverty.
  • It serves the largest population of any district in the San Francisco area.
  • More than half of the children living in the district have no access to green space.
  • The diverse neighborhood includes African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Caucasian, and other ethnicities.

It’s easy—and fun—to volunteer
Volunteers enjoy great music, delicious food, and a “get-up-and-go” attitude. No experience is necessary; special project managers direct and supervise the assembly of the playground equipment. Side projects include building picnic tables, benches, and planters; sanding and painting; and helping neighborhood children complete their construction assignments.

Buses make the round trip from the Moscone Convention Center regularly throughout the day, and food and beverages are provided at the site. The day culminates with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by government officials, partners, and the media.

If you haven’t participated before, now’s the time to start. You’ll find yourself among the hundreds of volunteers who regularly participate. Seeing the children’s smiles at the end of the day and knowing that the playground will be a place where they can make friends and create memories for a lifetime will keep you coming back.

Join the fun and volunteer today. Contact Pat Julitz by phone, (847) 384-4036, or e-mail, julitz@aaos.org, or volunteer online at www6.aaos.org/playground.cfm.

Addy Kujawa is manager, public relations; she can be reached at kujawa@aaos.org.