“Children shouldn’t have to feel afraid of being attacked at home, on a military base,” says Laura Grandner, general manager of Pyramide USA, which recently donated an AquaClimb Poolside Climbing Wall to Fort Hood military base in Texas after the horrific shooting that occurred there in April 2014. As the mother of a serviceman and the grandmother of two young children, the donation was something important to Grandner, and she calls it “the most fulfilling thing in my career so far.” It certainly wasn’t easy — it took months of dedication and commitment to get the climbing wall installed and approved at the base — but now Grandner has been able to see that the work has paid off. “Once we were able to use it, I saw children on the base and my own grandchildren playing on it and having a wonderful time… it was great.”
Grandner believes that what the climbing wall provides — besides an opportunity for children to be challenged mentally, physically and in areas of problem-solving — is something invaluable: a sense of security. “It’s a way to help the children cope and recover. Learning new things and completing the climbing wall builds their self-esteem,” Grandner says, adding that the children learn they’re capable and feel safer in that respect. Grandner believes, “We should be doing as much as we can for these military families; we need to show them how much they are appreciated, and we hope that other companies see this and take note.”
Marissa Bracamonte is the Editorial Intern for Parks & Recreation Magazine.