To help give more than 850 children the fun, safe childhood they deserve, six Milwaukee-area colleagues from the Young Professionals of Associated (YPA) recently teamed up with the Brewers Community Foundation, KaBOOM!, and other members of the community to build a full playground in less than a day.

YPA is a colleague resource group at Associated Bank that is committed to providing colleagues with career development, leadership development, education and networking opportunities. The group also creates awareness of current resources available to help colleagues develop their skills and careers.

Partnering with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit devoted to building children’s playgrounds, the two groups dedicated their time to create great play spaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has raised more than $200 million, rallied over a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of over 2,400 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play. Ultimately, they envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

About 250 total volunteers helped spread mulch, pour concrete and assemble playground equipment at Our Next Generation’s Neighborhood Center in Milwaukee’s Washington Park neighborhood. Our Next Generation, a local nonprofit, has provided quality academic support and life skills programs to hundreds of urban youth for over 20 years.

“This is a different type of volunteer event,” said Chelsea LaRosa, retail PMO intern in Associated Bank Milwaukee. “You see your hard work assembled right before your eyes and get to witness the excitement of area children throughout the day. It truly is a wonderful experience that I would love to do over and over again.”

After the event Joseph Hughes, relationship banker in Menomonee Falls’ Associated Bank, looked forward to future opportunities to help strengthen communities in the area. “Events like these truly show the amazing spirit of this city and that, when like-minded people come together with one goal, much can be accomplished.”

YPA is committed to providing future leaders with not only career and leadership development and education, but also community involvement and networking opportunities. Associated encourages all colleagues, regardless of age or tenure, to participate in order to share expertise and experience across the company. Colleague participation in any colleague resource group event is completely voluntary.