Contest could help fund adaptive playground

Thanks to Kiwanis International and Landscape Structures Inc., one lucky community will walk away with $25,000 in free playground equipment this summer.

With your help, that community could be Waynesville. 

Marti Peithman said that as soon as she came across the contest on Kiwanis’ website, she knew she had to enter; according to the contest entry, the $25,000 prize would be used to supplement the $90,000 grant Waynesville Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Langston acquired from a Connect N.C. bond application made last fall.

That grant — as well as a $22,500 contribution from the Town of Waynesville — would fund an adaptive playground designed to accommodate those with physical and intellectual disabilities by installing smooth, level, rubberized surfaces; plastic handrails and slides; and a new parking lot and sidewalk, as well as an ADA-compliant picnic shelter and bathrooms. 

“We’re working with a lot of different organizations on this,” said Langston. 

The closest such facilities, which seek to integrate special needs children with their non-disabled peers, are in Spartanburg, South Carolina, according to Peithman. Dueling 2015 studies put the number of special needs children in Haywood County somewhere between 2 and 6 percent, meaning more than a thousand children could benefit from this type of play area.  

From now until May 31, vote once each day in the fourth annual Kiwanis Legacy of Play contest by visiting the link below; the 10 submissions with the most votes at that time will be judged by a panel that will choose the winner by mid-June.

Spreading the word in person and sharing on social media is highly encouraged.

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