On Tuesday, March 19th, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons‘ annual volunteer build project took place in Chicago, IL. This year, the Academy, its members and many volunteers helped to build a brand new playground for the Faith Community of Saint Sabina. East Coast Orthotic & Prosthetic Corp. Chief Executive Officer Vincent A. Benenati, CO, and staff members, Stephanie Yurasek, Leigh-Ann Carter Sinclair, Michelle Kaiser and Jacy Krystal Bulaon participated along with Alexandra’s Playground organization founders Dr. Michael Vitale and Andrea Vitale.
The experience was a rewarding one for all those who participated. For East Coast O & P’s CEO, it was more personal. “I have seven children and to know that we were able to help provide a safe community for children, our future generation, and that they can come there every day was something truly special,” said Mr. Benenati. It has been his continued volunteer work with Alexandra’s Playground and their founders that has also stood out for him. “Working with Alexandra’s Playground and seeing the kind of work they are doing all over is just wonderful. They are doing amazing things and for a real good cause. I am happy to have contributed in some way to what they are doing,” he added.
According to Dr. Michael Vitale on the Alexandra’s Playground website, “Alexandra’s Playground was founded to commemorate the very special life of our daughter, Alexandra, whose beautiful life ended tragically in an accident while in a sailing school in 2008. Recognizing the void left by all the ways in which Alex would have impacted the World, my wife Andrea and I founded Alexandra’s Playground. Embracing Alex’s spirit of play, we chose to focus our efforts to support opportunities for safe, active play throughout childhood. Unfortunately, opportunities for active play are increasingly threatened in our society. As a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, I understand very well that the loss of these play opportunities has a negative social, emotional and physical effects on a child’s development. We seek to change this by building playgrounds in areas of need, supporting programs that encourage safe active play, and raising awareness about these issues.”
To learn more about Alexandra’s Playground and to donate to their organization, please click here.