CAFF priorities met: Engaging Youth and Young People
In June 2016, Megan Johnson, Special Education Teacher at Lost Creek Elementary approached the Columbus Area Future Fund for a $5,000 grant to help build an inclusive playground where children and adults of all abilities to could play together. “The purpose of this project is to create a play environment that will serve the physical, social, sensory, cognitive and emotional needs of all individuals in the community, regardless of ability or disability. It will be a place where individuals with special needs can spin, swing, slide and roll alongside their friends and family members; a place where they are not defined by their disability but by the joy, laughter and play of childhood.” CAFF granted $5,000 to this project whose goal was a grand opening in fall 2017.
In January 2017, members of the CAFF committee began further discussion as to the immediate need of such a Quality of Life piece within Columbus specifically, as the 2 nearest inclusive playgrounds are found in Omaha and Kearney, NE. Furthermore, this group has been diligent in their fundraising efforts to fulfill a need that would not only benefit immediate Columbus and Platte County residents but those of numerous surrounding counties. Learning that $65,000 more was needed to make this dream a reality, CAFF proposed a grant to the Columbus Inclusive Playground to match the funds raised by 2 upcoming fundraisers that they had planned up to $30,000. Sushi Night which took place in February 2017 raised $2,500 which will be matched by CACF and the upcoming Playground Palooza on April 23, 2017. CACF is excited to provide an opportunity to provide this 1 to 1 match to further stretch those donors’ dollars.