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Ann Romney praises CU RNC effort to enrich Tampa community
TAMPA, Fla. (8/30/12)--Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, helped Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and other credit union and hospital representatives open a new therapeutic playground at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg Wednesday.

At the beginning of her remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the playground facility for use, Romney thanked credit unions for their fundraising efforts that made the playground project possible.

Click for slide showAnn Romney, wife of the GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney, greets CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney as she arrives at the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the end of many months of work by CUNA, the state credit union leagues, credit unions and others (see story text for more project sponsors). The ceremony also marks the beginning of a new therapeutic playground for young patients at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Romney praised the fundraising efforts of the state leagues and credit unions to fund this "wonderful" playground. (CUNA Photo)

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Romney joined Cheney and representatives from CUNA, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the National Journal Group, CUNA Mutual Group and others at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the playground, saying the project was one way to help "make people's lives better."

The new play space will serve All Children's Hospital and patients in the area, and features special play equipment designed for the rehabilitation process. New plants were brought in and a retaining wall was constructed as part of the playground renovation process.

Cheney said the playground project is emblematic of the credit union philosophy of "people helping people."

"This newly revitalized playground will provide a beautiful place for healing and play--a place where children undergoing treatment here can have the joy of just being able to climb, swing, and pretend," Cheney said in prepared remarks. "Sometimes, as I think all the parents here would agree, that can be the best medicine of all."

He noted that hundreds of man hours, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions, have been dedicated by credit unions in the Tampa Bay area and across the country in support of the project. Cheney also offered special thanks to Patrick La Pine, CEO, and Mary Wood, member of the board, of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, as well as recognized the strong support of CUNA Mutual Group and CO-OP Financial Services.

The charitable "leave behind" project is in honor of the 2012 Republican National Convention, which began Monday in Tampa and is scheduled to continue through Thursday.

A similar project to renovate a rooftop playground is also underway at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The Charlotte renovation project will honor the 2012 Democratic National Convention. That convention begins next week.


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