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McKinley Playfield Renamed Honoring Ben & Reba Verlo

April 1, 2014

When asked for possible name considerations to help alleviate confusion between McKinley Park and McKinley Playfield, neighbors of all ages responded with ideas.

The outreach process, which ranged from civic lessons students in neighboring schools, to an online survey, and public engagement through the Eastside Neighborhood Council, sent one name to the top: Verlo Playfield.

ben-reba-verlo-imageIf you were a kid growing up on the Eastside in the mid-1950s and 60s and played sports, chances are you may have known Ben and Reba Verlo.

The couple was extremely active in youth sports, coaching many teams at the same time. But, Ben and Reba went even further in their support of the youth who they mentored. They went so far as to having money taken out of their check each payday to purchase equipment, uniforms and additional sports items.

They were also major advocates for the development of the former Boys and Girls Club on East 64th St.

The couple was recognized repeatedly for their civic contributions which included providing homes for kids if they didn’t have a place to stay. An article featuring the Verlo’s community service work stated Ben and Reba’s philosophy, “if there were more playgrounds, there would be fewer prisons.”

The Board of Park Commissioner’s voted unanimously on March 24 to rename McKinley Playfield as Verlo Playfield. Watch for information as we celebrate the unveiling of new park signage this summer.

Verlo Playfield
4321 McKinley Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98404
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