When putting together plans for new charitable endeavors for NESN this year, Casey Blossom wanted to try something different.

For years, NESN has engaged in community outreach through its NESN Connects program, which provides volunteerism and charitable donation opportunities for the company’s employees and partners. But for 2023, Blossom and the NESN Connects team wanted to think bigger.

“Play is so engrained in everything we do at NESN,” said Blossom, head of NESN Connects and director of marketing and communications at NESN. “So as we were brainstorming new and different ways to activate our NESN Connects group in 2023, the idea of building a playground was really compelling.

“We see the benefits of play every day in the athletes that are on our air. It brings the community together and we know it is a really powerful way for children to learn about the world and themselves. We’re proud to be building this playground for the Boys & Girls Club and grateful to all of our partners who helped make it happen.”

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The result soon will be unveiled at the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club in the Roxbury section of Boston. The new playground represents the special work put in by Blossom, NESN and multiple other partners who helped make the space a reality.

John Hollerbach, a contractor with Miracle Recreation, helped provide the materials for volunteers to build the playground for the Boys & Girls Club and also provided “guidance” for the community project.

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“As part of our MAIF Kids Play platform and our partnership with Miracle Recreation, we seek out partners that have a desire to give back to their communities through enriching them with safe places to play,” said Ali O’Connor, Director of Impact Development at Make An Impact. “NESN replied to our outreach, asked to learn more and the rest is history. It’s so refreshing to find like-hearted people across the United States who see the importance of play in our youth.”

Being physically active is a great way to relieve stress that children might experience and provide a mental reprieve, said Alisa Drayton, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury, adding that the playground will provide an important space for children to share social interactions.

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“Physical activity is liberating,” Drayton told NESN.com.

Not all of the credit goes to grown-ups, though.

NESN and the partners of the playground project collaborated with the children of the Boys & Girls Club to get their input on what they wanted out of the club. Drayton noted how valuable it was for the children to have a hand in something they designed. It also was important for the kids to see adults’ commitment to the project as the club hopes for more open, green spaces.

“The (Yawkey Boys & Girls) Club of Roxbury has 300 to 350 members at their club,” O’Connor said. “They are doing great work with the children of this community and to be able to alleviate the financial burden of a new playground so they can focus on impacting the children of their club even further, is what it’s all about. This playground is Boston-themed and will truly become a staple in the Roxbury neighborhood and the club specifically.”

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The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club on Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. ET.

Featured image via Tom Gorman/For The Patriot Ledger via USA TODAY Sports Images