The Stanly County Family YMCA has expanded its All Children's Playground to include an area designed specifically for toddlers. The newly installed system includes a climb up slide, imaginary play area, a crawl through, and a butterfly on springs.

The All Children's Playground, located in the YMCA Park in Albemarle, is a safe and fun environment designed for all children to enjoy regardless of physical ability level. "Since it's opening in September 2006, the usage of the playground has increased tremendously," said John Lowder, Stanly County Family YMCA Executive Director. "We are delighted to expand our current equipment to include an area targeting the development of our youngest community members. All equipment is handicapped accessible to encourage all children to play, learn, and grow together."

"This addition was made possible through generous grants received by Speedway Children's Charities, CVS Pharmacy, and our YMCA Strong Communities Fund," said Lowder. "This playground is a gift to the community and we are grateful to receive support from these organizations."

"Speedway Children's Charities provides funds to organizations that meet the needs of children," said Amanda Hollingsworth, Director of Speedway Children's Charities, Charlotte Chapter. "We are proud to provide the YMCA a grant for a project that gives all children, regardless of disabilities, a fun and safe place to play."

Speedway Children's Charities provides funds to organizations that meet the direct needs of children. From mentoring programs to camps for special needs children, they best affect children's lives by supporting organizations that work tirelessly to see that children's needs are met and that no child is left behind regardless of illness, social environment, or disability.

"CVS/Pharmacy Community Grants are an effective way for us to give back to the communities where we do business," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of the CVS/Pharmacy Charitable Trust. "We are proud to support the work that the Stanly County Family YMCA does in the community."

The CVS/Pharmacy Community Grant to the Stanly County Family YMCA is part of CVS/Pharmacy's commitment to its communities throughout the country. The Stanly County Family YMCA was selected to receive a grant through the CVS/Pharmacy Community Grants 2007 grant application process. Grants are awarded to organizations that share a common vision with CVS/Pharmacy's All Kids CanTM program, which strives to make life easier for children with disabilities. The goal of the program is to create more inclusive environments for children with and without disabilities to build self-esteem, lasting friendships and social skills, and to help children without disabilities learn diversity and tolerance.

The YMCA Strong Communities Fund consists of money raised locally to support the mission of the YMCA. "Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all," said Lowder. "We are blessed to receive continued support from the community which allows us to support projects such as the All Children's Playground expansion." The YMCA will provide over $250,000 in community support this year. This is made possible through the Strong Communities Fund.