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Queens Chronicle

Broad Channel’s finger lickin’ new playground

KFC steps in for Sandy-damaged park

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu Jun 27, 2013.

A Broad Channel playground destroyed in Hurricane Sandy will be renovated this summer, thanks to a little help from the colonel.

Gene Gray Playground, located on Cross Bay Boulevard between E. 9th and E 10th roads, has been chosen as a grand prize winner of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Li’l Playground Makeover Contest and will receive a grant of $11,000 from the fast-food eatery.

As part of KFC’s launch of its Li’l Bucket Kids Meal — the children’s version of the restaurant’s popular item — educators, administrators and community members from all around the country were invited to enter the contest in hopes of winning a makeover for their school or local community playground. Gene Gray, which is named for a Broad Channel resident and activist who died in 1973, is one of two playgrounds that won the grand prize; the other one is in Missouri.

“We received stories and photos from some very deserving organizations,” said Jason Marker, chief marketing officer for KFC United States in a press release. “KFC is pleased to be able to give ‘a li’l help’ to these playgrounds, and help make them even better places for the children in these communities.”

The playground, which is often packed with neighborhood children in the summer months, was nominated by Broad Channel resident Jennifer Mungeer.

The grant will be used to rebuild the park’s infrastructure — including new swings and slides and other playground equipment— which were destroyed Sandy.

“Every house in this area was destroyed. I want to help make a positive impact for the children of the community that have seen so much destruction.” Mungeer said in a press release. “We want to make this a place of joy so kids can focus on being kids again.”

A spokeswoman for KFC said the work on the playground will commence this month and last several weeks.

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