Hudson Hospital Foundation’s annual wine tasting event raised over $75,000 on Friday, Nov. 6, at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. This year’s event drew 350 people to support the Foundation’s fundraising efforts for Hudson’s first all-inclusive universal playground at Weitkamp Park – to “make good happen” for the community.
Each year, the foundation partners with local businesses to make a large impact at the event by offering a dollar-for-dollar match. The event was sponsored by Knotty Vines and Chicone’s Liquor, and along with corporate match donors, ensured a fundraising success. Business leaders generously donated $30,000 prior to the event and event attendees stepped up to raise the other $30,000.
“I can’t say I’m surprised by the generosity of the Hudson community,” stated Alan Burchill, Hudson Mayor. “We are excited to partner with the hospital and install Hudson’s first universal park, because it promotes social, emotional, and physical play for all of our children, grandchildren, and visitors.”
Universal playgrounds are becoming more popular in communities. The playgrounds are designed to meet seven guiding principles: fair, included, smart, independent, safe, active and comfortable. Environments are built to promote integrated play for all children, including those with special needs. Approximately 800 children, who are enrolled in the Hudson School District, are considered to have a special need. Special need can be defined as a physical restriction, developmental delay, chronic illness, learning challenges, a form of autism, behavioral issues and more.
“It was an absolute honor to partner with Hudson Hospital on this project,” commented Tim Jubie, General Manager of Hudson Chevy/GMC and major corporate sponsor. “These universal playgrounds are very expensive and with all of us banding together for a once in a lifetime opportunity, it’s going to be great asset for our community.”
The universal playground installation is scheduled for spring 2016. The entire play area has pour in place surfacing for complete mobility by youth and adults. The jungle gym consists of a ramp that leads to four “360 degree pods” where children with physical restrictions can completely turn around, as well as play with multiple auditory and sensory equipment pieces. There will be three swing set bays which include regular swings, large strapped in swings, and a two person face-to-face swing for adult/child interaction.
Hudson Hospital Foundation is honored to be a part of this new form of family interaction for the community. Volunteers will be needed to help with the playground installation in the spring. If you would like to help or know of an organization who is willing to gather a group, please inform Kari Rambo, Foundation President at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 2016.