Want to bring some joy to the world? Give a child a place to play. Then stand back and watch in wonder.

Dec. 13, a year after giving St. Francis Seraph School a check for playground equipment, a team from JACK Casino and other donors saw the finished product. They also saw the response from the kids: They went wild.

Myra McCool of JACK Casino

What started as a drive for school supplies turned into a major project when the casino’s Myra McCool drove by an expanse of concrete with a lonely basketball hoop that served as a playground. Donating $10,000, JACK recruited suppliers to contribute labor and materials to help them build a multi-purpose activity center outside the school in Over-the-Rhine.

It all came together last Thursday as, class by class, kids marched outside to behold and enjoy their new playset. Also on hand was Santa, dispensing candy canes and absorbing some of the unbridled enthusiasm. “Lord-a-mercy!” said a laughing Tim Sucher as the children gleefully swarmed the brightly colored slides and climbers. With cameras from Channel 5 rolling, Principal Halsey Mabry lined the kids up for a noisy and heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to the donors.

Myra and others were misty-eyed. Aside from the free-for-all fun this gift will provide, she said, “We’re excited to do something meaningful.”

(Video from the dedication is posted at: New-playground)