|Ann Romney, the wife of Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney, was on hand for the dedication of the new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg Wednesday. The playground was funded through donations by credit unions and credit union groups. She related a very personal story about the value of physical therapy in the wake of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Representatives of the NC Credit Union League headed to Tampa for the Republican National Convention this week. NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh and Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Lauren Whaley, made the trip to the RNC, where Mitt Romney was formally nominated as the Republican candidate for President.
"It's a great opportunity for us to say hello to longtime credit union advocates, and forge new relationships with people from NC," said Radebaugh. "As a non-partisan, grassroots movement, it is important for credit unions to build relationships across the political spectrum."
Beyond the speeches, parties and decorum of the convention, the week held a very special place for credit unions. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other credit union and hospital representatives formally dedicated a new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg Wednesday.
|Ann Romney visits with patients of the All Children's Hospital during the dedication of the therapeutic playground space earlier this week.
Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was on hand for the ceremony. She joined CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney and representatives from CUNA, the NC Credit Union League, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group and others at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the playground, saying the project was one way to help "make people's lives better."
Romney thanked credit unions for their efforts, and shared a personal story about her experience with physical therapy in the wake of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. "I went into a pretty bad spiral," Romney shared. "I lost the use of my right side and was having difficulty with speech and a lot of different issues." She then related how physical therapy and finding personal joy in horseback riding helped her recover.
The new play space will serve All Children's Hospital and patients in the area, and features special play equipment designed for the therapeutic process. New plants were brought in and a retaining wall was constructed as part of the playground renovation process. A similar project to renovate a rooftop playground is also underway at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte renovation project will honor the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which begins next week.
Cheney said the playground project is emblematic of the credit union philosophy of people helping people. "This newly revitalized playground will provide a beautiful place for healing and play--a place where children undergoing treatment here can have the joy of just being able to climb, swing, and pretend," Cheney said in prepared remarks. "Sometimes, as I think all the parents here would agree, that can be the best medicine of all."
Cheney noted that hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in the Tampa Bay area and across the country in support of the project.
The Charlotte playground project at the Levine Children’s Hospital will officially open following the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, September 5.
"The dedication ceremony at the hospital was a great event for credit unions," said Whaley "and it will be terrific to see the work that has been done at Levine Children's Hospital next week. Credit unions in the both Carolinas and throughout the country have a lot to be proud of."