The fundraiser, held at the Lone Tree Golf Course, featured 18 holes of golf followed by a buffet dinner, silent auction and live entertainment. The first-time event raised more than $5,000 toward the project, but for those in attendance the gathering did more than raise dollars; it bolstered the spirits and hopes of all involved.
“My son Nathan, he has a hard time (at other playgrounds),” said an emotional David Chuey, board advisor for the Special Kids Foundation. “But we are going to build this playground and in this playground, ‘play’ is going to mean something to my special-needs kid and all the special-needs children. I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us.”
The all-abilities playground is a joint effort on behalf of the Delta Family YMCA and the Special Kids Foundation. The YMCA is building a new facility on O’Hara Avenue in Oakley, and the playground is part of the improvements. The playground will serve children with limited physical abilities and will feature water-play areas, sensory-integration centers, wheelchair lifts, large wooden playhouses and shaded spaces.
SMF Construction, owned by Oakley City Councilman Jim Frazier, is donating the construction of the playground, and the Special Kids Foundation will pay for the equipment, which is expected to cost around $750,000. In turn, the City of Oakley, which owns the YMCA property, has agreed to maintain the playground in perpetuity.
Special Kids Foundation President Lisa McBride, said the event was a huge success and brings the playground one step closer to completion.
“What another wonderful turnout of Special Kids fans and supporters. We had so much fun, and all in the name of raising funds so all kids can play. I am thrilled to be one step closer to our playground goal and am eternally grateful to those who put their hearts and souls into our organization.”