Rockford, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs and BMO Harris Bank hosted a dedication ceremony on Wednesday at the RocVale Children’s Home to unveil their newly constructed playground for the home. IceHogs Assistant Coach Derek King, Rockford players Chris DeSousa, Lars Johansson, Jeremy Langlois and Nolan Valleau, and Hammy were in attendance for the dedication.
RocVale Children’s Home, 4450 North Rockton Avenue in Rockford, is a five home residential facility for 50 children ages eight to 21 with developmental disabilities. A division of Milestone Inc., the RocVale Children’s Home provides residential, developmental and therapeutic services.
Kids Around the World, a Rockford non-profit organization, along with volunteers from the IceHogs, BMO Harris Bank, Enterprise Car Rental, YouthBuild Rockford, and Rockford First Focus One started construction on the playground Oct. 14. The project was finished on Tuesday morning and includes new equipment containing special sensory therapy pieces to help residents with autism as well as fresh mulch.
In the spring of 2015, Milestone CEO Shawn Way assigned his resource developmental director, Arles Hendershott, the task of raising the funds to improve RocVale’s oldest playground equipment. The playground featured the Bill Howard Playground, built in 1996, and an older metal playground with swings and monkey bars that had been around since 1971 when RocVale was an orphanage. That playground was underutilized and was in need of new mulch.
Along with BMO Harris Bank, the IceHogs donated $12,000 to the playground at RocVale. Other donors to the $22,000 project include the Rockford Park District, Larry Larson Memorial Fund, Backyard Grill & Bar and The Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation.
Home Opener: Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Milwaukee at 7 p.m. The IceHogs open their 18th season of professional hockey at the BMO Harris Bank Center with the first home game of the 2016-17 season. The first 5,000 fans to enter the arena will receive an IceHogs calendar compliments of BMO Harris Bank. For tickets visit IceHogs.com or call (815) 968-5222.