The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) invites the public to an ‘Afternoon of Play’ at the unveiling of the revitalized playground and basketball court at Emile Griffith Park on St. Thomas. The community event will be held at the park at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 16. The festivities will include music, refreshments and face painting.
Funding for the project was provided through a generous donation to CFVI from Carnival Cruise Line, which had contacted both CFVI and the V.I. Department of Tourism shortly after the 2017 hurricanes to see how they could contribute to recovery efforts. Working closely with the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation (VISPR), the concept for repairing and replacing damaged facilities at Griffith Park for the benefit of the community came to life.
“Carnival Cruise Line is proud to partner with CFVI to create this playground, which, like our ships, provides children and their families an opportunity to have fun and create wonderful memories together,” said Chris Chiames, chief communications officer for Carnival Cruise Line. “Supporting our destination partners is an important part of our company’s culture, and we’re honored to fund these types of projects that positively impact the lives of so many people.”
Thanks to this collaborative partnership, Griffith Park now has new playground surfacing; new equipment for children ages 6 months to 12 years of age (including accessible harness swings for children with physical and developmental limitations); a new gathering gazebo with picnic tables and benches; a resurfaced basketball court; and repainted walls and field dugouts.
“With five of our brands calling on the destination annually, the U.S Virgin Islands is an invaluable partner to Carnival Corporation. It is our hope that the park will be enjoyed for years to come,” said Marie McKenzie, vice president of Global Ports and Caribbean Government Relations for Carnival Corporation.
“At CFVI we are so grateful to Carnival Cruise Line for their financial support and for their vision in helping the territory ‘build forward,’” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown. “The Community Foundation is committed to working with all our partners to ensure that the Virgin Islands emerges from the devastation of the storms as a stronger, more resilient USVI that provides a kinder, gentler community for all our residents and visitors. We are proud to count Carnival Cruise Line as a partner on this journey.”
The Department of Tourism has also been a key partner in the initiative. “The Department of Tourism is deeply grateful to Carnival Cruise Line for its unwavering support of the territory before, during and after the hurricanes of 2017,” said Commissioner Designee Joseph Boschulte of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
“We treasure the partnership we have forged over the years and look forward to strengthening it as we develop and grow our ports,” he said, noting “this inviting play space will bring countless hours of joy and recreation to the children in our community.”
For additional information, contact CFVI at 774-6031.