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McVeigh Rec Center in the Running For Funds But Need Your Help

A longstanding recreation center in Kensington may be the recipient of $20,000 from Disney and the National Recreation and Parks Association.

McVeigh Recreation Center, which sits at 400-64 E. Ontario St., is in need of the money — Inquirer columnist Mike Newall highlighted it and others that need funds in a powerful column last February.

In that column, Newall noted that an old boiler made it so hot in some rooms that air conditioning was needed, even during the winter months. The rest of the building wasn’t much better.

“McVeigh’s director, Todd Colistro, gave me the rest of the tour: the shuttered TV lounge room that floods from the faulty pool pipes, the leaky weight room with its broken equipment, the swing set with no swings,” Newall wrote.

McVeigh is currently one of three projects in Philadelphia for the National Recreation and Parks Association’s “Meet Me at The Park” contest. Other entries include the Philly Pump Track and Wissahickon Environmental Center.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Victoria Shaffer said McVeigh would use the prize money to “bring the outdoors inside.” Skateboarding, Bouldering, Parkour and obstacle course equipment would also be purchased.

“The mindset is that once children are familiar with these types of adventures indoors, we will be able to take them out to various locations and provide them with these traditional outdoor experiences in a natural setting,” Shaffer said.

About 2,000 visit the recreation weekly in the spring and summer, she added. McVeigh was selected because there was an “immense” interest in programming involving skateboarding and other outdoor activities, according to Shaffer.

In 2015, Glavin Playground and Pennypack Environmental Center each received a $20,000 grant after being selected as the winners of the Parks Build Community campaign through the National Recreation and Park Association. That campaign was sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN. Glavin Playground, also known in the niehgborhood as A&W Playground, is located at Westmoreland and Almond Streets in Po

Residents can vote for McVeigh at https://www.meetmeatthepark.org/ through April 30.

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