Livonia, Mich. – Oct. 01, 2007 – Children at one school in the Cleveland area community of Maple Heights, Ohio, now have a new fun, safe place to play, and it was built “to order” in only one day to their very own specifications.
With a strong desire to make a difference in the community, more than 100 volunteers from Quicken Loans, including 50 who traveled by bus from the company’s Michigan offices, teamed up with more than 100 Cleveland Cavaliers team members and parents, teachers and students from Preparing Academic Leaders Academy (PALA) to build a brand new playground for the students of PALA, a charter school located in Maple Heights, Ohio.
This is not the first time Quicken Loans and the Cavaliers have joined forces to make a difference in the community. Since Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans became majority owner of the Cavaliers in March 2005, the two organizations have worked together on numerous volunteer activities in the Cleveland area.
“All our folks were very excited to get out into the community and be a part of this project. It was great to bring together team members from Michigan and Cleveland and join up with the Cavaliers family to make a difference in the community. Seeing the kids’ smiling faces is what this is all about,” said Jeff Perry, vice president of Quicken Loans’ Cleveland Internet Home Lending Center. “The atmosphere of giving was amazing and we couldn’t believe that we actually finished an entire playground in one day!”
The playground was the first built by Quicken Loans and The Cleveland Cavaliers in partnership with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that rallies communities to achieve better public policy, funding and public awareness for increasing and improving outdoor play opportunities for children nationwide. The new playground, the only one within miles of the school, was built by volunteers in a single day on Saturday, September 29, providing more than 330 children with a place to get outdoors and exercise while having fun in a safe environment.
The playground is unique in that its design is based on drawings provided by the children of PALA. In July, Perry, Cavaliers legends Campy Russell and Austin Carr, and mascot Moondog visited the academy to encourage the students to design their perfect playground, which came to life two months later, thanks to the volunteer effort.
After the playground was completed, Perry, along with Cavaliers Forward Donyell Marshall and team manager Danny Ferry, joined the students at Preparing Academic Leaders Academy for the ribbon cutting ceremony and playground dedication.
“Making a difference in the community and in people’s lives is a fundamental part of our culture at Quicken Loans,” Perry said. “What a great feeling to hear the sound of kids laughing and playing in a safe environment and knowing that we made it happen for them.”
The Quicken Loans Community DIFF Team helps coordinate team member volunteer activities in Michigan, Ohio and Arizona. Last year the company donated more than $2 million to 250 non-profit and charitable organizations. Team members have volunteered thousands of hours at area food banks, soup kitchens, hospitals and in support of fund-raisers like the March of Dimes, Red Cross and the Tammy Z Fund at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.
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About Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans is one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders, closing nearly $18 billion in home loans in calendar year 2006. The company employs more than 4,000 people and has been ranked in the “Top 20” of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list for the last four years. For more information, visit www.QuickenLoans.com. To read more about Quicken Loans unique culture, visit www.QuickenLoansCareers.com or see “What’s the DIFF” at the Quicken Loans Blog.