John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction and Jeff Leiden, chairman, president & CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, along with a plethora of volunteers from both companies, will join Joe O'Donnell and his wife Kathy – whose son, Joseph, was the inspiration for the initial playground – for the kick-off of the construction of the new Joey's Park Playground today, Friday, Sept. 27, at Winn Brook Elementary School.
Suffolk Construction employees will be volunteering and offering the expertise of Greater Boston's largest construction company and serving as crew captains, guiding community volunteers of all skill levels as they work to build Joey’s Park.
Approximately 200 Vertex Pharmaceuticals employees involved in the development of groundbreaking cystic fibrosis medicines will be among those breaking ground on the new Joey’s Park.
Vertex’s CF medicine is the first to treat the underlying cause of the disease. Joey’s life-long battle with cystic fibrosis inspired Joe and Kathy O’Donnell to raise more than $250 million for a ‘venture-philanthropy’ effort that supported the development of CF medicines.
When cystic fibrosis claimed the life of 12-year-old Joey O’Donnell in 1986, his friends came up with the idea of building a playground in his honor. Kids designed the original playground and the community came together to build it. Twenty-four years after it was built, it is all happening again.
Local kids, once again, designed the new playground and hundreds of residents will come together for an old-fashioned “barn-raising” to build a new Joey's Park in early October.