M&T Bank Commits $25,000 to Rebuilding of Binghamton’s Fully Accessible OurSpace Playground

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From M&T Bank:

BINGHAMTON, N.Y.—M&T Bank announced today it will direct $25,000 in grant funding to the rebuilding of OurSpace at Recreation Park, a fully accessible playground that was recently destroyed by a fire. First opened in June 2016, the restored playground – which will focus on serving children with special needs – will again have ramps and a swing designed for wheelchairs, an accessible merry-go-round, sensory gardens and other features for people of all ages and abilities.

“Since it was first built, OurSpace at Rec Park has been a special place for our community, providing children of all abilities with the opportunity to play together,” said M&T Bank Regional President Peter Newman. “Our team at M&T Bank is inspired by the community’s outpouring of support to restore the playground, and we’re proud to amplify their giving with this charitable grant to move the project closer to its fundraising goals.”  

The Community Foundation for South Central New York has reopened its OurSpace Playground Fund – which was first launched when the initial project was in its planning phases – to accept donations for the playground’s reconstruction. Interested donors can learn about giving online or by check at the Community Foundation’s website.

In addition to its charitable grant for the project, M&T Bank employees – eager to support their community – are organizing a group to volunteer to help with the rebuilding.

“When we built OurSpace, M&T Bank was there encouraging us throughout the planning & build process.  When we needed it most, they sent a team of volunteers to help with construction” said OurSpace community volunteer Jen O’Brien. “We’re grateful M&T has stepped up again to ensure we could rebuild. We hope our community will join M&T in supporting the rebuild with continued donations and volunteering.”

“OurSpace is a true gem of Binghamton, beloved by people of every age and ability,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “It’s been incredible to see the outpouring of support from the community, including M&T Bank, to help rebuild the playground. In the wake of tragedy or hardship, Binghamton always comes together to help. I thank Peter Newman and M&T Bank for representing the best of what it means to be a member of this community. Thanks to their remarkable generosity, the City will rebuild OurSpace as quickly as possible, so families can start making memories there again soon.”

Diane Brown, executive director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, said “M&T Bank’s generous support brings fundraising efforts for OurSpace significantly closer to the goal of rebuilding, and expanding the amenities available at the park. Our friends and neighbors – donors who have given what they can – have been incredibly generous since we reopened the fund. We hope M&T’s commitment will encourage other local employers to get involved.”

Located inside the City of Binghamton’s Recreation Park, OurSpace was one of the largest fully accessible playgrounds in New York State. Thousands of residents and visitors play at OurSpace every year. It had become a regional asset, attracting families from throughout the Southern Tier, Central New York, North Central Pennsylvania and beyond. In addition to serving children with special needs, much of the equipment is also designed to assist adults with physical therapy or rehabilitation and encourage active lifestyles among people of all ages.

Mayor David has taken swift action to help coordinate the community’s response to the fire. His office has made Megan Brockett its point person for any organizations or businesses interested in donating services, supplies or other non-monetary items. She can be contacted at ourspace@cityofbinghamton.com or (607)772-7001.

For information about how to support the OurSpace Playground Fund, visit donorswhocare.com/ourspace.

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