A "Miracle" is coming to Falmouth
It all started with a group of moms meeting once a month at the local Mexican restaurant to share their experiences and difficulties in raising their children with special needs. The “Mommies of Miracles” discovered one difficulty they knew they could do something about. They needed somewhere safe for their children to play, somewhere that was not only fenced in, but fully accessible. Somewhere their typical children and children with special needs could play together, just like every other kid. Without limitations. Hence came the idea for Miracle Point Playground.
Board members Jennifer Hartzel, Casey Croley, Jenna O’Hara, Ali Orme, Michele Hamilton, Dixie Wells, Adam Hall, and Brian Thompson came together to begin the process of fundraising and developing a plan for Miracle Point. They are in the process of meeting with prospective equipment companies, developing a budget and plans, and starting the fundraising process through events, grants, and private and corporate donations.
The 8,000 square foot space adjacent to the current sand volleyball courts at the Pendleton County Athletic Park is the future home of Miracle Point and will feature six-foot safety fencing, a rubber play surface, various accessible swings and a variety of other pieces of equipment such as a merry-go-round and musical instruments that will be accessible for all members of the community.
The goal of Miracle Point is for children of all abilities to be able to come together to play.
“This playground means that my kids can play together as siblings. It means I’ll have a place to go for play dates with my friends and their kids and we can all play together and have fun,” said Jennifer Hartzel, whose four-year-old son, Lane, has Cerebral Palsy and depends on a wheelchair on a daily basis. “It means that Lane can be around other kids his age and learn from them and hopefully children in the community can learn how to interact with Lane.”
“This is a true community project that we can all contribute to and feel good about because it will benefit all children, not only Pendleton County, but also the surrounding areas as well,” said board member Brian Thompson. Currently, the nearest inclusive playgrounds are in Cincinnati and Georgetown.
Pendleton County Recreation Commission President Jeff Aulick says the impact of this playground will be very apparent. “Just imagine when you were a child how it would have felt if you could not play on a playground due to a disability. Once the playground is fully functional all you will have to do is stop by and observe all the smiling faces, then you will know the significance of this project.”
The estimated total cost of Miracle Point will be upwards of $200,000. “This is a huge undertaking, but we know our community will pull together to help us to make this miracle a reality,” said board member Ali Orme. “Our fundraising efforts have already begun. Though it will take an immense amount of money, it will also take lots of volunteers and everyone taking pride in the final project so our community will be able to enjoy this for many years to come.”
For current fundraising efforts, donation addresses, and contact information please visit the “Miracle Point