Jenks Playground Receives Generous Grant

“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. … These are the basic values that we all share, regardless of race, party, religion. This is what we share.” 

These words, said by First Lady Michelle Obama, embody the mission of the Foundation for Health Equity (F4HE). Created in 2005 from the proceeds of the sale of Chestnut Hill Hospital, F4HE (originally Chestnut Hill Healthcare Foundation and then the Green Tree Community Health Foundation) believes “everyone should have a just and fair opportunity to achieve optimal health no matter where we live, who we are, or how much we earn.” 

This mission is achieved by funding local organizations, like the Jenks Playground in Chestnut Hill, which recently received a generous donation of $5,100.

Since its establishment, the Foundation has made more than 450 grants totaling $8.4 million to a diverse range of community organizations, positively affecting the lives of more than 495,000 of our neighbors in Northwest Philadelphia.

Executive Director Bethany Flood stated: “In everything we do, Foundation for Health Equity™ centers the experiences, perspectives, and priorities of people and organizations living in and directly serving the neighborhoods most affected by health inequities. We believe that by working together we have the best chance to ensure that we can all thrive, no matter where we live.” 

The Jenks playground is central to the health of children in our area, Flood added. “It was a natural interest of ours… many of us use the playground and it’s been an important part of the community for years,” she said. 

Dan Baselice, President of the Friends of the Children’s Park in Chestnut Hill, has been fundraising for the playground and worked with Jenks parent (and Friends of Jenks Board Member) Abby Gustafson to secure grant funding.

“We are so grateful for this gift from F4HE. It moves us forward toward our funding goal to refurbish the equipment we have and assess replacing play objects, while maintaining the charm and appeal of the wooden play structures. We have a structural report in hand from the school district. This will allow us to strategically upgrade the aging playground,” said Baselice. “Our goal is to raise $250,000 over five years. We hit our target of $50K our first year and it’s donations like these that keep us on target to restore the Jenks playground!” 

Corinne Scioli, Principal of the Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences, said  “We are grateful for the generosity of our business and community partners for supporting the Jenks playground restoration project. The playground is our neighborhood gem, and we hope it continues to thrive and provide joy and wonder to our present and future generations of families.”

Those interested in supporting the Jenks Playground can make a tax-deductible donation on the Friends’ GoFundMe page at More information on Foundation for Health Equity can be found at:

by Emily Plowman, Friends of Jenks. Reprinted courtesy of the Chestnut Hill Local

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