Stacey Denuski’s Kenmore, Wash., neighborhood playground was built 50 years ago, and did not meet current safety standards. In fact, it was due to be removed. The district didn’t have the money to replace it, and if the local PTA couldn’t raise the funds, there would be no playground. That’s when this mother of two young boys volunteered to lead the playground committee.

Stacey had no idea what she, her kids and friends were getting into – she didn’t know how much the equipment would cost, what kind of safety standards they needed to follow, or how to work with cities and school districts. All she knew is that they needed a new playground, and fast. So Stacey did her homework and found that they needed to raise $100,000 – a pretty big goal for a school with half the children on a free and reduced school lunch program.

Using the playground building model that she obtained from KaBOOM!, Stacey found ways to save money and rally the community around the project. Within a year, the school raised the funding for the majority of its playground. The community build was an experience she says she’ll never forget. Family members, community members, and even the Mayor participated.

As a result, the city became more and more interested in the cause of play, eventually earning recognition from KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA community. Now, Stacey helps the city with the Playful City USA application each year, as she did in 2011, and serves as part of the play committee for the City of Kenmore. She’s excited that Kenmore values the health and happiness of its youngest residents and understands the importance of play.

Thanks to the action of Stacey, the City of Kenmore and its residents are now committed to making their community more playful for all of its citizens. Stacey has shown cascading steps of courage and joined the KaBOOM! Alumni Network where she is mentoring others, helping them build great playspaces for their communities.