A team of Bay Area organizations, including the San Jose Sharks, built an entire playground from scratch to give kids a safe and fun place to play while at school.
"The KaBOOM build process is really cool," said Katie Morgan, SAP North America head of corporate social responsibility. "We get the community involved from the very beginning. We had Windmill Springs, the Sharks Foundation and SAP working together for the past eight weeks to bring today to life. This was a blank slate. Throughout the day, we had more than 200 volunteers putting this playground together, painting on the sidewalks and really adding a lot of color and life to the school. Now, it's a brand new school yard."
RELATED: San Jose Sharks service dog in-training hopes to bring awareness, luck during 2019 hockey season
The @SanJoseSharks, @SharksCare, @sapno and @kaboom teamed up to build an entire playground for Windmill Springs Elementary School in ONE DAY! It took them right around 6 hours to construct it. pic.twitter.com/0ZW0u8rnhR— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) October 18, 2019
KaBoom is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving children, especially those in poverty, great places to play and enjoy their childhood.
These same children hold an important role in the playground building process as they started work eight weeks before construction even began.
"The process actually started with a design day," said Sharks foundation manager Jenne Johnson said. "We invited a lot of the kindergartners to come and imagine their playground. They did lots of drawings and told us what they wanted to see. It was a long process, but we're really excited to be here today and see it all come together."
The playground was designed in part by the children at Windmill Springs who spent weeks drawing out exactly what they wanted to see their new area to look like. 📸: Franklin-McKinley School District pic.twitter.com/rj6P3uMb5D— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) October 18, 2019
The playground was originally meant for older children, leaving it unsafe for the younger students that currently play on it.
Windmill Springs applied for this great opportunity over a year ago and the Sharks Foundation and SAP agreed to team up to make their dreams a reality.
"To be selected meant that we could actually have a playground that was age appropriate and really focused on imaginative play along with being able to climb and use your fine and gross motor skills," said Windmill Springs School Principal Becky Roussin. "Just seeing the excitement from even before it was built with the kids knowing they were going to get a new playground that they helped design was just the best thing ever. It was the best gift we could get."
Among the volunteers were familiar faces to the San Jose Sharks organization in President John Tortora, SJ Sharkie and Tomas Hertl.
WITH AUTHORITY: Watch our hilarious conversation with 'bleeping' Erik Karlsson
The more than 200 volunteers included the one and only @sjsharkie and @SanJoseSharks star @TomasHertl48 who helped do their part to bring smiles to the faces of the students at the school! #FunMustBeAlways pic.twitter.com/ZkXc2BJziY— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) October 18, 2019
Hertl recalls having great memories as a child playing on playgrounds such as the one built today.
When he heard there was an opportunity to help out and give back to the passionate fans that support him every day, it was an easy decision to join in.
"It's always nice to help, but especially kids," Hertl said. "They now have a beautiful playground with more fun stuff that they can enjoy. It's really nice to be part of it."
RELATED: Logan Couture organizes San Jose Sharks autograph session to raise money for Garlic Festival victims
Now, the students of Windmill Springs have a safe and fun playground that will open officially sometime in October 2019.
It was a day filled with hard work, but worth every second for the volunteers.
"We can never invest too much in our children and this is a great example of spending one day on a lot of kids and it rippling out to the whole neighborhood," Morgan said.
"What we do as an organization is try to make the community a better place and show people that if they care about the Sharks and hockey, they should also care about their community," Johnson said.
For more information on KaBoom, you can visit their website here.
To see other work the Sharks Foundation is up to, click here to visit their website.