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Kennywood Cares

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Kennywood Cares About Its Community

For more than a century, Kennywood has worked to provide the finest in fun and entertainment for children, families and groups. This has been, and will continue to be, our mission. Within that mission there is also a commitment to serve our Team Members (employees) and the Community at large. Today we have a name for this century long commitment: Kennywood Cares! We strive to be a good neighbor and a good employer in various ways from Direct Ticket Donations (e.g., Tickets for Children's Charities program) and In-Kind Donations (e.g., Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank Donations and Trolley & Costumed Character Appearance) to playing a Supporting Role for Team Members and the Community.

Direct Ticket Donations

"Anyone who does anything to help a child in this life is a hero to me." -- Fred Rogers

At Kennywood, we agree with our late friend Mister Rogers. That's what the Tickets for Children's Charities program is all about helping others make a difference in the lives of children.

This program helps to provide lasting memories of summer fun to disadvantaged children and/or children with disabilities by providing tickets to the organizations directly serving them. Since 1992, the Kennywood family of parks in Western Pennsylvania - Kennywood, Idlewild & SoakZone, and Sandcastle - have donated nearly 300,000 days of fun.

Applications for Tickets for Children's Charities are received all year long and reviewed in the order in which they are received. Awards and distributions are made after the first of each year, awarding tickets to be used that same year.

There are two categories of tickets: one benefiting individual children, and the other benefiting an organization that directly supports children. A rotating committee from each park administers the program.

The Tickets for Children’s Charities program has exhausted its supply of complementary tickets for the 2016 season. Applications to receive tickets for the 2017 season will be accepted beginning September 1, 2016.

For more than a century, Kennywood has worked to provide the finest in fun and entertainment for children, families and groups. To do so we've teamed with schools, churches, ethnic groups, communities and social service providers. This has been, and will continue to be, our mission.

Click to download further information and application instructions for Tickets for Children's Charities.

In-Kind Donations

Across our region, and throughout the country, individuals, groups, and non-profit organizations are working to make this world a better place. While it isn't possible to contribute to every good cause, Kennywood strives to share some of its resources to help meet needs throughout the region. For instance:

  • Each autumn, as Kennywood closes for the season, the Steel Valley Salvation Army receives and distributes leftover plush
    from the arcade games.
  • Untouched, leftover food is regularly packaged and delivered to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.
  • Special Wheel Chair Days have long been a way for Kennywood to provide a complimentary visit to the park for residents of area nursing homes. Reservations are required. Click Here for any inquires you may have.
  • Kenny Kangaroo and the Kennywood Trolley enjoy taking road trips for community and fund-raising appearances throughout the year.Click Here for any inquires you may have. For information on ticket donations, see the Direct Ticket Donations section above.


Noah’s Ark named Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction by Amusement Today
For the fifth consecutive year, Kennywood’s Noah’s Ark attraction received the Golden Ticket Award from Amusement Today as the world’s Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction. Noah’s Ark, which began operating at Kennywood in 1936, has been recognized as the best of its class from 2010 – 2014.

American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) names Thunderbolt a Landmark ride
Members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) bestowed a unique honor on Kennywood in 2014 when they designated the Thunderbolt as a Landmark coaster. The recognition makes Kennywood the only theme park in the world with three roller coasters given the Landmark status (the other two are Jack Rabbit and Racer). The Thunderbolt was originally built in 1924 as the Pippin, before an extensive remodeling in 1968. In the 1970s, it was called the ‘King of Coasters’ in a New York Times article.

Kennywood receives The James F. Compton Humanitarian Award
On September 18, 2014, Kennywood was honored by Life’sWorks of Western Pennsylvania as the recipient of The James F. Compton Humanitarian Award. Life’sWorks President and Board Chair presented the awards during A White House Dinner In Pittsburgh™, a fundraising gala to honor
business and community leaders who have furthered the lives of people with disabilities or other employment barriers.

Great Ohio Coaster Club (GOCC) presents plaque
Michael Burke, president of GOCC, surprised Kennywood with a plaque congratulating the park's oldest operating roller coaster, the Jack Rabbit, on its 85th birthday.

Kennywood Public Safety Department receives Award
Kennywood Entertainment thanks the Pleasant Hills Police Department for submitting its Public Safety Department's name for recognition by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Governor's Award program. The Commission commends dedicated organizations for their involvement in, and commitment to, the ideals of Community Oriented Policing.

American Business Ethics Award
It was a most prestigious award, and Kennywood Entertainment Co. was proud to be one of the initial recipients. Given by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Society of Financial Service Professionals last June. The American Business Ethics Award went to companies in three categories, based on employee totals. The 2001 honors went to Alcoa, Kennywood, and Waller Corporation. Criteria were formidable. Awardees were chosen based on ethical business practice in everyday operation. Kennywood Entertainment is grateful for this honor.

International Kudos!
The annual trade show of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) drew 30,000 amusement industry professionals from around the world to Orlando in November. From all those, five individuals were singled out for the 2002 Service Awards. Two were from Kennywood Entertainment Company. Andy Quinn, Director of Community Relations at Kennywood, was presented with the Meritorious Service Award. It's given to "an individual or organization that has improved the industry's standing nationally or internationally." Andy was the IAAPA Government Relations Committee Chairman. The Outstanding Service Award is given to "persons who have constantly fostered a spirit of Goodwill and professionalism in the industry." The recipient was Bobbie Wages, past IAAPA Treasurer and Administrations Director of Lake Compounce, our park in Bristol, Connecticut.

St. Anthony Award
Kennywood's collection of prestigious community awards grew by one in November, 2003. The park was a recipient of the St. Anthony School's 2003 Opportunity Award, one of those made at the annual dinner in the Westin Hotel. Bishop Donald Wuerl made the presentation. It acknowledges Kennywood's employment of students from the school in season positions. St. Anthony's mission is to provide an opportunity for mentally challenged children to attend the same school as their peers.

Best Park of the 20th Century
Kennywood has long been acknowledged as "America's Finest Traditional Amusement Park." That designation has been accorded it by enthusiast organization polls, trade journals and the national media. In 2001 the park received even a loftier status: "Best International Traditional Amusement Park of the 20th Century." The accolade was voted by members of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain.

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