Hundreds of Volunteers Build a 3,100-Square-Foot Playground at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chippewa Valley

July 15, 2017
  • New playground created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare gives members at the Mary Markquart Center a safe place to play and exercise

Today more than 200 Eau Claire residents and UnitedHealthcare employees built a new playground at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chippewa Valley's Mary Markquart Center.

Boys & Girls Club members helped design the new 3,100-square-foot playground during a "design day" event in May, incorporating a topsy turvy spinner, track ride, hemisphere climber and more into the design. The new playground will offer more than 1,700 kids at the Mary Markquart Center a place to play.

This playground build is part of UnitedHealthcare's "Do Good. Live Well." program, an employee-volunteer initiative dedicated to decreasing hunger and obesity, inspiring service and encouraging volunteerism.

"UnitedHealthcare is honored to help build a playground that will give children at the Boys & Girls Club Mary Markquart Center a safe place to play and exercise outdoors with their friends and families, while creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime," said Ellen Sexton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin.

Last year the Mary Markquart Center moved into a new facility that is further away from local parks, making it a challenge to provide outdoor experiences that enable members to engage socially and physically. The new play space will provide Club members the opportunity to engage in healthy lifestyles and try new activities.  

"Club staff encourages members to respect each other and engage in healthy outdoor activities to enhance their health and well-being. Having a playground where this activity can take place will be a tremendous benefit to Club members," said Roxie Schmidt-Flanders, director, Mary Markquart Center.

Volunteers worked with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that helps bring balanced and active play into children's daily lives. The Eau Claire playground is the 2,954th KaBOOM!-organized build since 1996 and the 23rd created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare.

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.6 million people in Wisconsin with a network of 155 hospitals and nearly 30,000 physicians and other care providers statewide. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find opportunities to volunteer alongside UnitedHealthcare in your community, visit Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or "like" Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley – Mary Markquart Center 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley was established in 2001 and opened its doors in 2004. The organization currently serves four communities in western Wisconsin - the Mary Markquart Center in Eau Claire, the Chippewa Falls Center, the Lunda Center in Black River Falls, and the Menomonie Center. The Clubs strive to provide activities and experiences for members in which they might otherwise not have the opportunity. By providing positive activities and afterschool programming for youth ages 8-18, the Boys & Girls Club is a strong community resource which enables young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. All this is available to the youth for just a $15 annual membership fee.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve more than 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit or join the conversation at or

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.