Grand Island YWCA raising money for new playground space

YWCA raising money for new playground
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The YWCA of Grand Island is once again taking part in the annual Go Big Give fundraising event.

The YWCA will join more than 150 other nonprofits to raise money for projects impacting their organization in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.

The Grand Island YWCA is hoping for the communities support as they hope to make a dent in the cost of a new playground space at its facility.


Marketing Coordinator Cassandra Wardyn says they have a big area to the south of their building that currently children are unable to use.

“It’s an area we want to focus on and revamp for our childcare kids to play,” Wardyn said.

The space would include a new trike track, a big open area to play sports as well as a garden.

“We are trying to bring a natural look to the playground,” said Kristine VanHoosen, Director of Early Care and Education.

VanHoosen said this project is going to give their kids ample amount of space to play and grow to meet all their milestones.

She added that they try to spend 90 percent of their day outside and having a bigger space helps with that.

“I think about my teachers and how it will greatly impact our teachers when they are able to be outside and have fresh air and able to teach and not feel confined,” VanHoosen said.

The goal for the YWCA during Go Big Give is to raise at least $10,000. That will go toward the $175,000 project, which is slated to begin in late May or early June. They hope to have it complete by August or September for the kids to use.

VanHoosen says by adding this space, the infants and toddlers will be in one play area while the older children will be in another.

“It’s basically built on the best child experience that we could come up with in a nature base playground,” VanHoosen said. “Hopefully it works out for all these kids to explore in a great way.”

The Grand Island YWCA serves on average 50 kids a day with ages ranging from six weeks to 12 years.