What was a mud pit when 135 William Blair & Co. LLC employees arrived in Broadview, Ill., a western Chicago suburb, on April 29 became a playground when they departed.
The Chicago-based investment firm teamed with KaBOOM!, a non-profit that builds playgrounds nationwide, a park district and a community action group to construct Playhaven Park. William Blair financed the construction, too.
“There was such an energy; it was the most amazing experience we've ever had,” said volunteer Michelle R. Seitz, William Blair's head of investment management. “It was one of the most fun days I've had at work in a long time.”
Ms. Seitz's job was to build and paint benches in a segment of the park to be used for teaching. “So I got power tools,” she commented, a note of pleasure in her voice.
Not all of her colleagues were as lucky. Some, for example, had to mix and pour concrete. But almost everyone shoveled and moved mulch onto the playground, which Ms. Seitz said was the hardest part of the job.
For Ms. Seitz, the best part was “working with people in the neighborhood, people who want to help themselves and their neighbors.”
The playground was completed in one day, including a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony attended by neighborhood children. “That was wonderful, when the kids came at the end of the day and saw their new park,” Ms. Seitz said.
— NANCY K. WEBMAN