News

NBAA Playground Build Brings Aviation-Themed Playground to Orlando Apartment Complex

ORLANDO, FL, October 5, 2008 - In conjunction with the NBAA 61st Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2008), the Association yesterday once again joined with KaBOOM!, a non-profit group that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, as well as with Orlando-based BBA/Signature Flight Services for this year’s project. The aviation-themed playground was completed in eight hours, with the help of nearly 300 volunteers from the business aviation and local communities. This year’s Park Build marks the second year of what has become an annual project, following last year’s build near Fulton County Airport-Brown Field (FTY) in Atlanta, GA.

Volunteers began working on Thursday to level the ground and dig holes on-site to prepare for this year’s Park Build, which officially began yesterday at 8:30 a.m. at the Hollowbrook apartment complex, home to more than 200 children needing a safe place to play. Hollowbrook is located near the Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), which is hosting the Static Display of Aircraft for NBAA2008. Completely replacing outdated equipment, the new playground’s design is based on drawings that local children provided to organizers at KaBOOM!, and features brightly colored slides, a climber, several rock walls, an adventure crawl tube, a catwalk and several activity panels. Surrounding the playground are wooden benches, shaded and non-shaded flowerbeds and a stage for community performances and events.

"We are very impressed with KaBOOM! and the input from the children. The playground is great," said Gary Boekenkamp, vice president, strategy and business development for NBAA Member Company BBA/Signature Flight Services. Boekenkamp, who serves as the project chair, is unofficially known as the "Build King." More than 140 families in this Central Florida community will benefit from this vibrant new space.

The playground is part of NBAA’s ongoing efforts to build bridges between airports and local communities, and will also be one of more than 220 projects that KaBOOM! will coordinate this year. "We’re delighted to participate and lend a hand,” added Boekencamp, “This is a worthwhile endeavor that’s great for the community."

NBAA thanks the volunteers and sponsors from the aviation and local communities who participated in this effort, which included: AEM International, BBA/Signature Flight Services, Dassault Falcon Jet. Crystal Springs, BJs, Chick-Fil-A, Napoleon’s Pizza and Johnson’s Diner provided food and drink for the event, and other sponsors included Disney, SeaWorld, Seline Company, Universal Orlando, Garsite, JBT AeroTech, Sam Hart/Clear Channel Airports, TUG Technologies and TKDA-ECMC / Kinley Construction Group.

"“We are very excited to have had the opportunity to work together to help the Hollowbrook community,” said Maureen Cameron, NBAA’s director of marketing, conventions, seminars & forums, "The new park has helped make the community brighter for neighborhood children by giving them a safe place to play."

At the conclusion of the build, a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held, featuring volunteers, local elected officials and community leaders, including Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz.

NBAA2008 features a number of annual charitable events, such as the NBAA Annual Chairman’s Charity Classic Golf Tournament and the NBAA Annual Charities Gala, featuring the NBAA Annual Live and Silent Auctions.

>>> View more photos