Here are the most frequently asked questions about the new playground. The answers will give you a good idea of how it came about and why we did it. It is also located at 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA, but on the opposite side of the building from the Miracle Field. If you get a chance, come down and see the playground or bring your kids to play on it. The musical equipment has a special appeal to the young one in all of us.
Who does it serve? The Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground is built as part of a recreation area behind the Lee Center, where the Kelley Cares Miracle Field is also located. It is open to all kids to use, but has been specifically designed to accommodate special needs kids.
Who built it? CVS Health approached The Miracle League of Alexandria and the Kelley Cares Foundation about donating the start-up money for a fully accessible playground. The three organizations joined with the City of Alexandria to build the playground, which opened in June 2015.
Who paid for it? CVS Health donated $25,000 to start the fundraising and The Miracle League of Alexandria and the Kelley Cares Foundation raised another $75,000. The playground itself cost about $100,000 total; all from private sector funds. As part of the construction effort, the City of Alexandria added another $30,000 plus of repairs and improvements to the area immediately surrounding the playground to enhance the project.
Why is it named after Ruthanne Lodato? Ruthanne was a long-time music teacher in Alexandria who was active in teaching all kids, including those with special needs, the wonders of music. Given her work in the special needs community, it was natural to name the playground after her and give it a musical theme.