Donated park offers fun in the sun at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home

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    The new McCarthy Park at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa was dedicated July 27. In addition to a splash pad, the park boasts traditional playground equipment, swings, a basketball court, a shaded ramada, a running path and exercise area, and a skate park complete with jumps. (Photo by Stephanie Jarnagan)

    Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa was bustling with excitement Wednesday when the new McCarthy Park was dedicated and opened at a special celebration that encouraged fun in the sun. Dozens of children made a beeline for the new splash pad that was recently installed courtesy of McCarthy Building Companies’ Heart Hats committee and members of McCarthy’s subcontractor community.

    Children at Sunshine Acres get to play on the splash pad for the first time since McCarthy Building Companies and more than 30 subcontractors generously completed a new park for the nonprofit valued at more than $100,000. (Photo by Kimberly Heintz)
    Children at Sunshine Acres get to play on the splash pad for the first time since McCarthy Building Companies and more than 30 subcontractors generously completed a new park for the nonprofit valued at more than $100,000. (Photo by Kimberly Heintz)

    In addition to the new splash pad, the park boasts traditional playground equipment, swings, a basketball court, a shaded ramada, a running path and exercise area, and a skate park complete with jumps.

    “We’ve always been known as the ‘miracle in the desert’ and what McCarthy has done here is another miracle for our kids,” said Carol Whitworth, CEO of Sunshine Acres, which opened in 1954 as a place of refuge for children whose parents are unable to care for them.

    The park was dedicated in honor of McCarthy Building Companies’ retiring President Bo Calbert and his wife, Lani, who have been instrumental leaders of McCarthy’s Heart Hats, a charitable committee that engages McCarthy employees and their families in community service projects. Dozens of McCarthy employees and their family members volunteered to build the park in 100-plus-degree temperatures over the past two months. More than 30 of McCarthy’s subcontractor partners also participated in the project via in-kind donations.

    “We’re humbled to have this park dedicated in our honor today, but this really is all about the kids’ enjoyment and being able to give back to our community,” Calbert said. “It’s been a privilege to work with Sunshine Acres and many other nonprofits over the past decade. Lani and I are leaving the Heart Hats team in capable hands, and we’re confident they will continue to tackle worthy projects like this in the future.”

    Mesa Mayor John Giles also spoke at the dedication, even tearing up a bit while referring to Sunshine Acres as one of Mesa’s treasures with a track record of saving thousands of children who need the most help, and all without any government assistance.

    “This park is a testament to what can be done when community-minded businesses like McCarthy team up with worthy nonprofits like Sunshine Acres to accomplish something for a greater good,” Giles said. “We know the children here will enjoy this park for many years to come.”

    McCarthy Park at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home is located at 3405 N. Higley Road.

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