The children of Boston will be more than glad to know that one of the city’s most frequented playgrounds will finally get the renovations it needs – all thanks to American football icon, Ron Gronkowski.

On May 7th, the star Buccaneers’ player donated a hefty $1.2 million to the Esplanade Association in efforts to provide much needed resurfacing and installation for the Charlesbank Playground in the Charles River Esplande. The donation was made possible by the funds raised during the Boston Maraton and were delivered on behalf of the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.

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This generous act of philanthropy will go towards stripping down the playground’s old swing sets and jungle gyms to then be replaced with more modern, safe equipment. The proceeds will also create a new 10 year maintenance fund to ensure Charlesbank is always at tip top shape.

The announcement of the donation was made during a press conference with Gronkowski, the city’s governor Charlie Baker, and Michael Nichols – the executive director of Esplanade Association who says the donation will turn Charlesbank into a “super fun place for children to learn, grow, exercise, and play.”

“The Patriots taught me the importance of giving back from the very first day I stepped in that organization,” the athlete proclaims during the conference, “A huge shout out to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots for instilling that into me and showing me the importance of what it’s like to give back”

Gov. Baker was elated by this donation, offering up kind words about the athlete and his family: “They give back time and time again and they especially give back to the youngest, most vulnerable and frailest among us, our children”

“Rob Gronkowski is a lot of things,” the governor goes on to say, “but the thing I think that gets lost sometimes amidst all the other things that everybody thinks and knows about him, [is that] he’s a big man with a big heart.”

Gronkowski is no stranger to giving back. From his 2020 live-stream competition with Shaquille O’Neal in efforts to raise money for the NAACP to teaming up with Honey Nut Cheerios to give back through his youth foundation, this big guy has always had a knack for philanthropy. Because of this highly laudable act, there’s talks of changing the park’s name in his honor.

In an email to Boston.com, Nicholas discloses that Esplanade Association will commence the design phase for the park in the following week.

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Sources: Press Herald, Boston.com, Patriots

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