A Dream Fulfilled: New Playground Opens for Children of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Day Care Program
Ken Kucowski and daughters Charlotte (left) and Natalie celebrated the opening of Creative Beginnings' new playground with a trip down the slide.
Mary Kucowski, former Fox Chase Cancer Center employee, had one dream for her daughters, Natalie and Charlotte - to rebuild the playground of their day care center. After losing her battle to cancer, devoted husband and father, Ken, tirelessly lead a three-year campaign to raise money to fulfill her dream.
That dream came true in a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 5, 2004.
"Its a bittersweet day. It's great to see Mary's dream finally become a reality," said Kucowski. "Yet, its sad too because Mary's not physically here to join in the celebration." As an employee of Fox Chase, Mary Kucowksi's daughters attended Creative Beginnings, a nationally recognized child development program, available for all Fox Chase employees. Natalie, now 5, still attends Creative Beginnings.
Since his wife's death in 2001, Kucowski has raised roughly $75,000 through annual beef and beer events, golf tournaments and donations. Kucowski was joined by both daughters, Natalie and Charlotte, 9, and Fox Chase representatives in early June for a small ground breaking ceremony. Kucowski was involved in all aspects of the construction, including design of the new playground.
According to Kucowski, the next move is to start a foundation to further support cancer research and treatment. Funds from this foundation will also be dedicated for maintaining the new playground.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).