By Brenda L. Holmes
To help celebrate its 100th birthday, Duke Energy built a new playground at Sheltering Wings, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and their dependent children.
Maria Larrison, CEO of Sheltering Wings, said the project was a God send to the shelter’s children.
“We specifically purchased equipment for older children,” she said. “We have that equipment for the little guys but we didn’t really have anything for the pre-teens, the older kids to play on.”
Duke Energy supports the facility annually with $10,000 that goes towardt the shelter’s GED program.
“The GED program has been a dream of ours for years,” Larrison said. “Now the ladies can get their GED on site and we can also invite past residents to come back and do it.”
This year, to celebrate the company’s 100th birthday, Duke gave the shelter an additional $10,000 to purchase playground equipment.
Patterson-Horth, Inc., a general contractor out of Indianapolis came to install the equipment and was assisted by Duke Energy employees. Patterson-Horth also provided a foreman for the project.
Dawn Horth, a representative of Duke Energy, said, “We’re putting in five pieces of playground equipment for the kids. They will probably be out here playing on it sometime tomorrow.
“We’ve been doing lots of projects for our 100th anniversary. We wanted to do this project because it will impact hundreds of children who unfortunately come through these doors.”
The equipment was installed on Thursday — one of the hottest days on record.
“These workmen are accustomed to working in the heat on a daily basis,” Horth said. “But we have also brought plenty of water and Gatorade for them. Maria has also opened the shelter’s doors for us so they can go in and cool off. We will also be having lunch inside.”
The project is one of many the company is doing around the state to thank its customers and the communities that it serves.
“It’s been a ball doing these projects,” Horth said. “And on Sept. 8 we will be hosting a grand finale.”
On Sept. 8, Duke Energy will be hosting a festival for all of its employees at the company headquarters in Plainfield.
“There will be a carnival with bounce houses and climbing walls,” Horth said. “It’s going to be a real celebration.”
The company will also be opening a time capsule that was sealed on its 75th birthday.
“We still have some of the employees that placed items in that time capsule,” Horth said. “They’ll be there to tell us why they chose what they put in there.”