A group of lucky fourth- and fifth-graders at Looscan Elementary School exchanged high fives with Houston Texans star Vince Wilfork on Tuesday as he arrived at the school’s SPARK park to present a $12,000 check for new playground equipment.
Wilfork, accompanied by United Healthcare team members, presented a grant that will help replace the school’s 20-year-old playground equipment. The 12-year NFL veteran and first year Texan teamed up with United Healthcare and the Dreambuilders Foundation to make the donation through the Vince Wilfork Foundation. The nonprofit organization provides funding for diabetes research, education and care, and financially supports disadvantaged children who need assistance.
“It’s an honor to be here, and it’s a blessing to be a part of something so great,” Wilfork said. “The first thing we thought about when we came to Houston is how we can impact the community. Thanks to United Healthcare, they have made the partnership happen, and I really do appreciate them bringing us on board.”
Kathleen Ownby, Executive Director of the SPARK School Park Program, says there were only plans for a track to be built for the playground, but not enough funds to update old equipment.
“We work with schools all over the city and county by helping [them] develop their playgrounds in the community parks,” Ownby said. “We didn’t have any money for new play equipment until Vince Wilfork and United Healthcare came along.”
Davis High School football players were also at the event to demonstrate and perform relay races with Looscan students, who showcased their football skills for Wilfork.
“The main important thing as a kid and as an adult doing what I do for a living is to be active,” Wilfork said. “That is huge in life, so I hope with this new playground and equipment, you guys have fun and always be active, because that’s going to do great things for you in the future health-wise. Take advantage of this.”