Source: Knorr-Bremse announcement

WESTMINSTER, Md. – The students and staff of Hampstead Elementary School in Hampstead, Maryland, once referred to their playground as “Big Red.” The large structure, which was replaced this month with help from Westminster-based Knorr Brake Company (KBC) and its parent company’s North American foundation, Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America (KBGCNA), featured traditional playground components like slides, monkey bars, and ladders over a large area of mulch.

But this August, there’s a new structure where Big Red once stood. It doesn’t have a nickname, but it does have vibrantly colored elements and slides over hard rubber flooring, welcoming children of all ability levels. Kids who use a wheelchair can make their way to the top on one of its ramps. Children who don’t speak can use the communication board to invite a friend to play.

It took support from local businesses and individuals to help the school realize its dream: installing the fully accessible playground for the enjoyment of its students and others in the community. Among those who supported the effort was the team of KBC and its parent company’s North American foundation, KBGCNA. Together, the two organizations awarded $70,000 in funds, almost half the cost of the $158,000 project.

The organizations also contributed cooperative assistance for the project, which was marked with a ribbon-cutting celebration and opening reception on August 26.

“We were thrilled to partner with Hampstead Elementary in acquiring and constructing an accessible playground for its students and for the greater community,” said Lindsey Franey, marketing and governmental affairs manager at KBC and KBGCNA’s project champion for the playground. “Extending this support for a project that is educational and fun, and that also eliminates barriers, is at the core of what our organizations strive to promote, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

KBGCNA is the North American philanthropic organization for Knorr-Bremse of Munich, Germany, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other safety-critical rail and commercial vehicle systems. And Knorr-Bremse subsidiary KBC is a leader in the supply and maintenance of braking systems for U.S. passenger rail cars.

KBGCNA centers its investments on initiatives that support youth, education, and underprivileged populations in the surrounding communities of Knorr-Bremse’s three largest North American companies, a group that includes KBC along with Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, based in Avon, Ohio; and Watertown, New York-based New York Air Brake LLC. As does KBGCNA, KBC awards support on a corporate level for projects focused on youth and education in its communities.

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.