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Neighborhood children participated in a “Design Day” for the new playground in November 2013; their ideas helped shape the unique features of the playground.

AAOS Now

Published 3/1/2013
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Michael F. Schafer, MD

Join the 2013 AAOS Playground Build

New playground to benefit children, families in needy neighborhood

Michael F. Schafer, MD

Grab a warm hat and gloves and join your colleagues on Tuesday, March 19, at the 14th annual AAOS Safe and Accessible Playground Build in Chicago.

Since 2000, the Academy has sponsored a one-day volunteer playground build to kick-off the Annual Meeting. The annual build gives attendees at the meeting the opportunity to give hope to a needy community. It also leaves the Annual Meeting’s host city with a legacy of a safe and accessible ­playground.

As orthopaedic surgeons, we treat many people with physical disabilities. We also see first-hand the results of playground injuries and falls, making this project a natural fit for our specialty.

Each year, more than 200,000 children in the United States sustain a playground injury that requires medical attention. A safe, accessible playground with ramps, guard rails, and uniform surfacing helps minimize fall-related injuries, while enabling neighborhood children with and without disabilities to play, interact, and exercise.

Children and parents from The Faith Community of St. Sabina, in Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, helped design the new playground in November 2012. In addition to the safety and accessibility features, the new playground will include a slide; two climbers; audible activities, including bell, horn, and drum panels; a “cozy cocoon” designed for children with autism spectrum disorders; and interactive panels with numbers and letters.


Every volunteer will receive a sweatshirt with the “Why I Build” design.

Sign up online
The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with an on-site ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee/beverages will be served. Buses will run every 30 minutes, starting at 7:30 a.m., between McCormick Place and the playground build site at St. Sabina, 1210 W. 78th Place. Several special Chicago guests will be in attendance, including Chicago Bulls mascot “Benny the Bull” and former Chicago Bears football player Chris Zorich.

Neighborhood children participated in a “Design Day” for the new playground in November 2013; their ideas helped shape the unique features of the playground.
This new safe and accessible playground will offer children exercise opportunities for balance, flexibility, and strength to help build strong bones. It will also support St. Sabina’s efforts to serve as a safe haven for all community children so that they may play together.

Volunteers are required to register in advance. More information on the 2013 Playground Build and a link to the volunteer registration form are available at aaos.org/­playground

Volunteers will receive an email 2 weeks before the playground build with more detailed information on the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Kayee Ip in the AAOS public relations department at 847-384-4035 or email ip@aaos.org

Thank you in advance for your time, effort, and continued support of the AAOS Playground Build program.

Michael F. Schafer, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet.

2013 Safe & Accessible Playground Build Sponsors
Thank you to these generous sponsors; without them, the build would not be possible!

Platinum Sponsors
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

Gold Sponsors
DePuy Synthes, companies of Johnson & Johnson
Stryker

Silver Sponsors
Alexandra’s Playground
Arthrex, Inc.
Bioventus
Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
Zimmer, Inc.

Bronze Sponsors
Aesculap, Inc.
American Society of Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants
Association of Residency Coordinators in Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Leon S. & Karyn Benson
Bonutti Technologies
Ned Bryant and Family
Drs. Scott & Leslie Cordes
DJO Global
Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
Sandra Gordon & David Leibowitz
Greatbatch Medical
Hamill Family Foundation
HangItUp Chicago
Dr. Stuart & Lisa Hirsch
Dr. Stephen & Sonny Hurst
Dr. Joshua J. & Faye Jacobs
Dr. Frank B. & Lawson Kelly
Bill and Pam Kolter
Medtronic Spinal and Biologics
Mobile Workforce, Inc.
National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
Paragon Medical, Inc.
Pro-Dex, Inc.
Rush University Medical Center
Dr. Michael F. & Eileen Schafer
Symmetry Medical, Inc.
Tecres S.P.A.
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc.

Dr. Edward & Eva Toriello