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Dearborn Steel Manufacturer Pays for New Park Playscape

Severstal North America employees raise funds for new playscape at Morningside Park.

The children that live near Morningside Park on Dearborn’s south side will have a new opportunity for fun with the addition of a new playscape.

The large installation was made possible by the employees of Severstal North America, in collaboration with the Dearborn Community Fund, said EmmaJean Woodyard, the executive director of the fund.

“What’s great about this is that we were approached by Severstal,” Woodyard said. “They came to us wanting to do something for children in the community. It’s what we like to see from big companies in the community, and we’re thankful for their support.”

The Dearborn Community Fund works with organizations within the city to raise money for arts, cultural and recreational programs for residents.

The process of securing the new playscape began when the employees of Severstal held a raffle to raise money to benefit the community’s children. That effort raised  $8,450; but the company donated $15,000. Those funds were used to purchase the playscape, which has slides, a mini-climbing wall, and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Morningside Park is nested in a bustling residential community on Morningside Drive and Wyoming Street in the southeast quadrant of the city. The park is among the busiest among Dearborn’s network of public parks; hundreds of children and their families utilize the park for recreation, play time and family time every week.

Woodyard said the process to determine took place with the input of the fund, as well as the Dearborn Recreation Department.

The playscape was officially dedicated at a ceremony held Sept. 17, which was attended by several officials, including Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Severstal’s Vice President and General Manager Bruce Black, Dearborn Community Fund Board Chair Karen Nigosian and members of the city’s recreation commission.

O’Reilly said support from area business is a shot in the arm the city needs during difficult fiscal times.

“We are grateful to Severstal North America for their continued contributions to our community,” he said. “The tremendous reinvestment in their Dearborn steel manufacturing operations is critical to our economic vitality, and they are amplifying their commitment to our town through donations like the Morningside Park playground. We appreciate the company’s support, and also the generosity shown by the employees to make this very meaningful gift possible.”

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