Today's News

Thursday, March 16, 2000

AAOS, industry representatives give lasting gift to Orlando school children

The Tuesday morning dew had barely dried from the grass at Magnolia School in west Orlando when volunteers began arriving. Brightly colored T-shirts dotted the landscape like a carpet of wildflowers. They were there to build a playground at the school which serves handicapped and mobility impaired students.

"I think it's great that the AAOS is dong something like this," said Sharon Smith of Zimmer, one of the companies which has an exhibit at the convention. "When our president sent out a memo telling us that we were getting involved in this, I signed up right away."

The Indiana-based company had about 100 volunteers among its ranks that cut, nailed and screwed pieces of the playground together for the playground. Wearing bright yellow shirts, they came in shifts and did what they could to help the project.

Like parents on Christmas Eve, they were a bit perplexed by the printed instructions and weren't quite sure where the steps and ramp they were bolting together fit into the full project, but the workers pushed ahead, enthusiastically waiting to see the finished project.

As the day went on many others joined the volunteer effort, including representatives of 31 state orthopaedic societies and the AAOS Board of Directors, following their Board meeting.

Jen Henderson, associate direc-tor of project management for Ka-Boom, the company which oversaw the project, said her organization worked with Boundless Playgrounds, which designs play areas for mobility impaired children, and Playworld Systems on the project.

"We had some special considerations for this project because so many of the students at this school don't run and climb and do things the way other children do," she noted.

Barbara Jones, who works in the media center at the school, said she was pleased to see such an outpouring of support for the project.

"These children need something like this," Jones said. "Not only are we thankful for the support from the orthopaedic surgeons, but the people who came out from the companies at the convention who could have been out by the pool and the people from here in the community who are helping out are so great, too."

Carole Lee, a marketing manager with Fluoroscan, an imaging company from Northbrook, Ill. said she was "thrilled to have the opportunity" to help the community.

"Trade shows come and go, but this is something lasting that we can give back to the community," she said. "It's nice to give something back. You come to a community as a tourist or to do a convention and you leave. But this gives you a good feeling to be able to give to the community."

Kayla Fornier who lives two blocks from the school said she volunteered to help build the playground because she thinks it helps a community when people come together on a project. She and three friends were putting together a slide.

"This isn't just for the kids at the school. All of our kids will be able to enjoy this," she said. "But, most importantly, we're all working on this as a community."

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Last modified 16/March/2000 by IS