It has been some time since I have updated the blog, but there is good news that deserves sharing. The playscape that was taken down from the Care Center in Holyoke has found a new home at the new REACH Early Intervention Program office in Northampton, MA.
It feels great to have found a home for this playground, and soon the children who come for playgroups will have a fun and interesting playscape to explore. I also want to recognize help with the installation from Brian Gulick, who has been behind the scenes helping me with playgrounds since the 1970’s, when he helped me install an indoor playground in the Bronx when we were both undergraduates. Brian is amazing and has always been generous with his time for these projects. He also re-designed one of the toys I have been making and donating to pre-schools, making construction simpler and quicker, so I have been able to donate more toys with his improved design. Brian and his family also made a generous donation to the project to honor the memory of several friends and families who have lost loved ones. Donations were made to honor Dorothy Donovan Wade, Bob Behnke and Sinting Lai.
The playscape in Northampton was built to honor Christine Sharkey, when she retired from working at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and I will include here the letter that explains her role in inspiring me to build and donate this playscape.
Christine’s Playground. January 2019
This playground for the REACH Early Intervention Program was built to honor Christine Sharkey, and her long career as a pediatric physical therapist at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Every hospital, school or strong community organization has special people who form the heart and soul of the place, and Christine has played that role for Cooley Dickinson. While she has never sought attention for herself, and consciously avoids the spotlight, she has been an inspiration and mentor for so many others who have worked with children in rehabilitation. Those of us who have been around her understand how important a role she has played over so many years. Christine’s work has stood as an example for every positive value a community hospital tries to uphold. She is a collaborator, a listener, and holds onto the joy that comes to those of us lucky enough to work with children every day. I am proud to have worked with her, and I hope her spirit and energy is reflected in the opportunity for fun and playful exploration this playground provides for the children.
Tom Murphy- founder
Bogin Playscape Project