Special needs children get a special playground

EATON, Ohio (WDTN) – It took a community to accomplish something great for special needs children in Preble County.

The payoff is a brand new playground.

“This is where kids of all ages can come and play, all abilities can come and play together.”

The special playground started with a simple conversation back in 2009.

A couple of parents in Eaton realized there was no swing for a child in a wheelchair anywhere in Preble County.

“The more we talked about that, we thought why stop there and it grew into a committee who wanted to build an accessible playground,” said Betsy Morrison, A.S.K. Accessible Playground.

Since then, it’s been a lot of grant writing and fundraisers for the group A.S.K., Advocating for Special Kids.

The plans were drawn up and construction companies hired.

“We want to keep it as local as possible. So we selected an Ohio company,” said Corey Mangan, A.S.K. Accessible Playground.

The price tag for the final project is $300,000.

“We worked very hard on this project, obviously. Like we said before, no public dollars.”

It became a real investment in the community.

Businesses, foundations, families, memorial gifts, children even brought their piggy banks to the park to help build this dream.

It wasn’t just money that made the difference.

“Businesses donated their time as well. People donated their saturdays to come out. We said from the start we wanted to do this right and in the end, we didn’t want to say we wish we’d done this or we wished we’d done that and I think we accomplished that.”

The playground is located on East Lexington Road behind L & M Products.

The work isn’t finished yet. Lights will be added to the playground.

 

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