As the sun rose on a rainy Tuesday morning, September 18, 2012, elementary students at IPS #105 Charles Warren Fairbanks arrived to a school yard in complete CODE BLUE construction mode. Eight hours later, and with the help of more than 200 volunteers from the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Products, Ingredion Incorporated, Stonegate Mortgage and IPS #105, the sun set on a new playground built with hard work and care.
IPS #105 is tucked away in a near-Northeast side neighborhood where children of all ages from the community excitedly congregate after-school hours, referring to the school yard formerly filled with dilapidated equipment as "The Park." On Tuesday, volunteers installed a safe, new playground from Sinclair Recreation and beautify the school through landscaping and outdoor painting projects led by Rebuilding Together.
This is the fifth consecutive year the Colts have worked with their partners to build a playground in Central Indiana on a Colts Community Tuesday. The playground at IPS #105 is the largest build to date, consuming 450 cubic yards of mulch and 4,300 square feet of play space. Volunteers worked tirelessly to complete the build in only six hours!
After volunteers enjoyed a hot breakfast from Qdoba Mexican Grill, Colts Cheerleaders led the group in stretches during the opening ceremony. Colts players soon arrived to give the build added muscle and to show volunteers a little appreciation.
TE Dwayne Allen helped piece together a portion of the new play structure, while TE Dominique Jones delivered mulch to the original swing set that would be refurbished by the end of the day. ILB Moise Fokou and LS Matt Overton laid the groundwork for the landscaping in the front of the school.
With the build underway, the master of controlled chaos, also known as Blue the Mascot, trotted into the school to perform his Fuel Up to PLAY 60 school show for the entire student body. The school show reminded the children of the importance of eating healthy in addition to being active 60 minutes each day. After the show, students were taken on special tours of the Colts In Motion traveling museum.
Once the rain began to clear, it was time for ILB Jerrell Freeman and OLB Justin Hickman to take over the front yard, while OLB Jerry Hughes and T Jeff Linkenbach hung the 'landmark' Lucas Oil Stadium sign at the top of the new playground structure.
As the sun peeked out from the clouds and lunch time ended, volunteers were reenergized to complete the build. G Trai Essex, OLB Jerry Hughes and RB Mewelde Moore went into 'red-zone' mode to finish the mulch drive.
By 2:30 p.m., the new playground structure was fully set in place with a new swing set. A sky runner and climbing wall were installed near the original, refurbished swings. An outdoor classroom was also constructed to offer teachers the opportunity to bring students outside for a day of active learning throughout the year.
Walking out of the school to join the volunteers for the ribbon cutting ceremony, all 400-plus students were allowed to take their first look at their new playground. The excited students and school staff offered the volunteers musical performances with song and dance as a special 'thank you.' Colts players and cheerleaders joined the playground build partners on the safety surfacing of the new playground for the ceremonial ribbon cutting that would signify a token of pride and belief amongst the students, IPS #105 and the community.
A very special thanks to Republic Services, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Penn Station and Coca-Cola for their in-kind donations that contributed to a successful build day!
To view the photo gallery from yesterday's event, **click here**.
**Click here** to check out video footage.
About Colts Community Tuesdays
During the regular NFL season, Tuesday is the only day off players receive. As a result, the Colts utilize every Tuesday to engage their players in various charitable events and programs throughout Central Indiana. From schools and hospital visits to blood drives and holiday outreach, Colts players participate in a wide variety of "Community Tuesday" activities throughout the season. For more information on all of the Colts outreach efforts, visit www.colts.com/community.