The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee announced Thursday the selection of the Ballard Community Center child care program as the recipient of proceeds from its 2001 fund-raisers.
Ballard Center officials said the money would be used to buy new playground equipment for 1- and 2-year-olds attending the center.
Dianne Ensminger, executive director of the Ballard Center
The money will also go to buy rubber matting to place underneath playground equipment, increasing its safety.
"It means a great deal to us," said Dianne Ensminger, executive director of the Ballard Center. "They are providing a great deal to us."
In addition to the parade, the committee sponsors the Shamrock Shuffle 5K run, scheduled for March 10, and a Sports/Celebrity Auction, scheduled for March 3. The events raise between $20,000 and $25,000 each year.
The new playground equipment and rubber matting will cost about $15,000, Ballard officials said.
"We're required to provide large-motor-skills and fine-motor-skills training for the children," Ensminger said. "This will mean a lot to us. We want to add this equipment without passing on the costs to our clients."
The new equipment will also help the center secure accreditation for its child care program from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
"If they receive accreditation, that would mean more children coming in and that will help the community," said parade committee member Gene Shaughnessy.
The Ballard Center is a private, nonprofit social service agency at North Seventh and Elm streets. There are 58 children, ages 1 to 5, in its child care program.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is in its 14th year of operation. It donates to agencies providing assistance to children.