Two Giant employees work in the rain to help assemble Mayfair Memorial Playground. Photo by Kirsten Stamn
“A promise kept. That’s what this is.”
Melinda Mulvenna, a co-chair for the Friends of Mayfair Memorial Playround, surveyed the playground that was furiously undergoing construction, with hundreds of volunteers milling around hauling mulch, assembling equipment and pushing wheelbarrows. The Mayfair Memorial Playground at Rowland Avenue and Vista Street, which was to be completed in only a matter of hours, had taken more than three years to get rebuilt after it had been torn down. And for Mulvenna, that was a personal triumph, as she was an indirect reason for the previous playground’s destruction.
“My daughter [Kaylee] was the one that was hurt. Her foot got caught in the padding and she fell into the monkey bars. Thank God it was only a black eye,” she said. “I called politicians and the mayor’s office; all I asked for was that the padding be repaired. I thought I was doing the right thing. One innocent phone call . . . it was demolished that April.”
Looking at the progress that had been made that morning, Mulvenna’s eyes became glassy. “Three years later, now look at it. We’re putting in a rumble slide for people with special needs. Our goal is to have everybody play. This is for kids with casts or wheelchairs, everyone. We even have Freddy the Firetruck for John Redmond, the firefighter who passed away and [for whom] this park is dedicated to for his service. We’re even painting his number on the side,” she said.
For Mayfair, getting to this day has been a long, arduous process. Before, in the times of former Pa. Rep. John Perzel, Mayfair might have gotten a check from the government, which was putting lots of resources into building up the community. But with Perzel’s indictment, all the funds had to come from donations and the community, which rose spectacularly to the challenge. continue reading »