Leadership Blount fundraiser to benefit special-needs children
From Leadership Blount
Tickets are now on sale for a March 2 pancake breakfast that will benefit special-needs children in Blount County.
Proceeds from the breakfast, organized by the Leadership Blount Class of 2013 and hosted by Aubrey’s and owner Randy Burleson, will go toward the purchase of two molded swing seats and one swing platform with a frame for playgrounds at Everett and Sandy Springs parks.
“The total cost of the equipment and necessary signage is $2,059,” said Raquel Roy, a member of Leadership Blount’s Class of 2013. “This is our baseline goal, but we would love to raise more money and provide more specialty swings in other areas of the county.”
The breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pistol Creek Catch of the Day will provide musical entertainment.
A $10 donation per person is suggested for the breakfast.
Providing the special-needs playground equipment for the parks is one of the class’s two Legacy Projects. Details of the other project, a Youth Court initiative, will be announced later.
“This idea stemmed from a passion of several members in our class who work with, volunteer with and have special-needs children in their families,” Roy said. “They know personally that many parks and playgrounds are not handicap accessible, and this creates separation between children. With the addition of this equipment, we can help increase the interaction between all children and aid in creating friendships and understanding.”
Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation will install and maintain the equipment, said Executive Director Joe Huff.
The class hopes to purchase two full-body JennSwings, which can hold babies who are just beginning to sit up on their own to school-age children weighing up to 120 pounds. When installed at Everett and Sandy Springs park, they will replace one of the regular saddle swings in the swing set.
The swing platform and frame planned for Everett Park will accommodate juveniles in wheelchairs, including motorized wheelchairs. Front and rear ramps allow easy access onto and off of the platform.
“We consulted with several developmental and pediatric therapists when deciding exactly what pieces of equipment would benefit the majority of special-needs children,” Roy said. “We invite the community to join us in helping a population of children and their families better enjoy our parks and the outdoors.”