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Play20 - 100 Years of Play

100 Years of Play

We are celebrating 100 years and to us that means making the very best and most innovative playground, fitness and recreation equipment in our history. We’re guided by our legacy of innovation, customer service and creativity while continuing to challenge ourselves through research, analysis and continuous improvement. But being better means more - it means investing in the communities we live and work and continuing our story by giving back with acts of kindness and supporting organizations that help kids and families. Our goal is simple - to harness the power of play to make the world a happier, kinder, more playful place. Join Our Movement and share in the story by giving back in your community, posting a picture and using #Play20. We’re excited to share in this year together.



Living our Mission of Community

Part of our 100 year celebration is giving back to the communities we serve in a variety of ways. We call it #Play20 and it allows us to live our mission of doing more.


Synergy® Imagination® Donation to United Way Puerto Rico

Bringing play to communities around the world is at the heart of our mission and part of our 100 year celebration in 2020! In January, we kicked off our 100th year at our Play20 Sales Conference in Puerto Rico where we donated an incredibly engaging Synergy Imagination play structure to the United Way. Although the pandemic caused a delay in the installation process, play is coming soon to the Children’s Park located on La Princesa Passage in Old San Juan and we’re excited for so many children and families to enjoy the new playground. Join Our Play20 Movement in giving back to the communities we serve!

United Way Food Donation

#Play20 is about doing more. About giving back. We began our Play20 journey in Puerto Rico at our Play20 Sales Conference by donating and packing food for children who might not be able to eat when they aren't in school. And if they can't eat, how can they have the energy to learn, grow, develop and play? This is our mission. Join us as we live it.

Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac Partnership

One of the organizations we partner with is the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac. Their mission is to empower all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens through academic, social and emotional support. We support their mission by engaging with them in a variety of ways, including our President/CEO Michael Phelan being part of the Board of Directors, various Burke employees participating in committees such as Marketing and Events and creating personal relationships with the club members by providing opportunities to tour the Burke facilities and learn about various careers in manufacturing, design, engineering and human resources. Oh, and we invite them to come and play on all of the Burke equipment in our "backyard." And we know how important play is for building healthy minds and bodies. Join Our Movement as we continue our mission to make the world a happier, kinder, more playful place to be.

Play Coalition Sponsor

Burke is proud to continue the sponsorship of the Play Coalition - a partnership to promote the value of play throughout life. This is an organization made up of a network of individuals and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life. This year’s conference had a slightly different design due to the uncertain times and no travel policies, but remains an informative way for people from all around the world to connect, share ideas and participate in education sessions using an online format. Burke’s Marketing Communications Specialist, Sarah Lisiecki, is a member of the Steering Committee of this organization and helps to move play forward in this avenue.

Trail Clean-Up

As part of the Play20 campaign, we organized a trail clean-up. Like most things, COVID-19 had other plans the meeting in groups – even to clean a trail – was no longer responsible. So, one of our employees who is staying in New Mexico during this time, decided to clean a trail anyway. Picking up a trail that people can use while practicing social distancing creates a more pleasant experience and environment for everyone. Right now, more and more people are getting outdoors for both mental and physical health and our trails need some extra love. It’s what Play20 is all about – leaving the world a better, happier, more playful place to be.

Play20 Community Sale

We are continuing to focus on giving back by supporting Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs as they work extra hard to keep kids and communities fed, safe and healthy during this uncertain time. Because without proper food and nutrition, kids and communities can’t grow, learn, develop or play. With our Play20 Community Sale, we are building something for your community to come back to while helping those who help us.

Board & Committee Members of IPEMA

As we continue to celebrate 100 years of bringing play to communities, we remain committed to our Play20 initiative of 20 acts to grow the play community in 2020. IPEMA is an industry organization committed to promoting the power of play and encouraging safer play environments for communities. We are part of this organization and Voice of Play, an IPEMA initiative, in a variety of ways, including board and committee positions and product certifications. It's one of the ways we strive to leave the world a happier, healthier, more playful place to be. Join Our Movement and learn more about how we are giving back!

Walleye Weekend Sponsorship

Walleye Weekend is our hometown festival and every year we're not only sponsors but also participants in the run! It's a great way to connect with each other and the community. This year looked a little different but it still got Burkies moving and having fun while raising funds for local nonprofits. It's Play That Moves Us and part of our celebration of giving back.

Salute the Troops Memorial Race Sponsor

Another day, another way to move and support organizations that help our community! The 9th Annual Salute the Troops Memorial Races offer a variety of race options from 5K to half marathon and this year, Burke was a Battalion Commander sponsor and some Burkies joined in the running fun! This annual event raises money for Salute the Troops of Wisconsin which uses that funding to help Veterans in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and Dodge counties. It's a great way to keep moving and give back to our community. It's Play That Moves Us!

Back to School Donation

The Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac helps make our community a better place to live and work and, as part of our Play20 campaign, we want to support them in any way we can! As kids return to school, they need supplies and helping them get some important items to make their school year productive and fun is Play That Moves Us!

Supporting the Fondy Fire Robotics Team

We’re continuing our Play20 celebration by giving back to the communities we serve! Burke is a proud supporter of the FIRST Robotics Team 2194 - Fondy Fire. In addition to being a Premier Sponsor, team members have also interned at Burke to gain experience in Engineering. While the 2020 season was cut short, we look forward to continuing our partnership to advance STEM education and hands-on experience for these talented young people!

NRPA Parks Build Community Sponsor and Supporter

Play20 is about giving back and making the world a happier, kinder, more playful place! We are proud to be a long-time supporter and sponsor of NRPA’s Parks Build Community, a national initiative to transform the value of parks across the nation. The 2020 Parks Build Community project is Grand Avenue Park in Orlando, Florida. This community will soon have a colorful play environment for children and families to gather and play! This is Play That Moves Us!

Advisory Park Board for the City of Fond du Lac

2020 is a big year for Burke as we continue to celebrate our 100th year in business! Our goal is simple - to harness the power of play to make the world a happier, kinder, more playful place. That starts right here in America’s Heartland. Our Chief Marketing Officer, Brian Johnson, joined the Advisory Park Board for the City of Fond du Lac, focusing on park planning and future use of park land. Parks are a place for communities to come together to learn, grow and play! Follow our Play20 journey of 20 acts of kindness throughout 2020!

PlayEnsemble® at County Line Elementary

Music is a way to bring people together. PlayEnsemble creates musical experiences that accelerate child development intellectually, socially and emotionally as well as enhance overall motor skills, language and literacy. As 2020 continues, so does our Play20 Movement! We installed some of our favorites from the PlayEnsemble collection at County Line Elementary School in Germantown, Wisconsin. This provides the Burke team a research site to observe how students come together to interact, learn and create music in a creative space outdoors. This is Music and Play That Moves Us!

Fond du Lac Historical Society Donation

We’re celebrating 100 years in business and decided why not give back to our community’s history too?! Burke donated $10,000 to the Fond du Lac County Historical Society for the renovation and restoration of the Galloway House and Village Grounds. The Galloway House and Village celebrate Wisconsin commerce and lifestyle of the 1800s. We are proud to be a part of preserving this historical piece in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin!

Lunch for our Hometown Healthcare Heroes

This year is about giving back to communities across the nation and that starts right here in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. To show our appreciation to our hometown healthcare heroes, we provided lunch for the Agnesian Hospital Emergency Department staff! They’re working around the clock battling the COVID-19 pandemic and we’d like to send a big ‘thank you’ for all they’re doing for our community.

Giving Back to United Way

Investing in the communities where we live and work and supporting organizations that help kids and families is central to our mission. Burke is proud to be a continued supporter of the United Way of Fond du Lac. We donate at the corporate level and offer Burkies the opportunity to give individual donations too! Join Our Play20 Movement and celebrate our 100th year in business with us!

Partnership with YMCA

We’re celebrating our 100-year anniversary by bringing play to communities around the world with some of the best and most innovative playground equipment in our history! Burke is proud to partner with the Fond du Lac YMCA, an organization with a designated outdoor space for young children to learn, develop and play together. By donating new play equipment, the Burke team has a local research site to observe kids and how they interact and play! We are focused on leaving the world a better, happier, more playful place to be – It’s what Play20 is all about!

Rescuing Pets

Community really means everyone and to those of us within our communities who have pets, they are part of our “everyone.” Adopting a pet can help keep families active and is shown to reduce depression and anxiety. Shelters and other rescue groups play an important role in the safe care and adoption of pets and some of the Burkies decided to adopt pets from and support local shelters this year as part of our #Play20 celebration. It’s another way our Burke team is making the community a happier, more playful place to be!


Keeping Outdoor Spaces Clean

Outdoor recreation spaces are so important to our mental and physical health and well-being. We’ve realized the deep importance of these places as many of us have returned to the outdoors over the last year for exercise, play and time spent together. Keeping these shared spaces clean and inviting for everyone is a collective responsibility. One of our Burkies cleaned up litter in the area around her local open space that’s used by the community for walking, hiking and running.