LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Children United SWOK now has playground equipment purchased and delivered to Lawton. They're working to build a playground for people of all ages who can't play on a traditional playground because of a disability.
The Children United committee still has a long way to go before they can build the all-inclusive playground. So far, they've raised right at $100,000 of the $500,000 needed. Committee member Joe Chesko said the main part of the playground structure that they just got cost a little more than what they've raised, but a local group chipped in to make sure they could get the deal.
"LETA stepped up and purchased the equipment," Chesko said. "Children United, we're going to go ahead and pay them back. They were so kind to give us an interest-free loan, so we could secure this equipment 50% off."
Chesko came up with the idea of an all-inclusive playground after seeing a kid in a wheelchair have to watch from the sidelines at a playground at Elmer Thomas Park.
"I see that little child almost every day," he said. "In my mind, I see that little boy in that wheelchair, and I see him making all the sounds and laughing, and I see him just watching other children play, but he's not able to."
Chesko said there are around 10 all-inclusive playgrounds across the nation. Jack Hanna, with the City of Lawton, said they're excited to get one added here.
"We can put our mark on the map that we are one of very few that have an inclusive playground for children that need it," Hanna said.
Having the pieces of the playground, here, in Lawton, makes it more of a reality.
"This is going to happen," Chesko said. "And I'm telling you, this is Lawton Proud, right here and if anybody says otherwise, I'd be the first to argue with them because this is showing me that the community cares about their children and children are our future, and we've got to take care of them and we are."
If you'd like to help them raise money for it, they're going to have a Christmas Garage sale the weekend before Christmas. It's going to be on Dec. 20, 21, and 22 at 1514 NW Lawton Ave. in Lawton.
They’re also going to host another Dancing for Children United event this April. The event sold out last year, so keep an eye out information about tickets if you want to go.