Pratt Pilot Club leads the way to securing playground for disabled children at Sixth Street Park; Gamma Beta has already joined in with a special donation.
Because Pratt Pilot Club members believe that all children should have equal rights to play they are advocating for playground equipment at Sixth Street Park that includes elements usable by children with disabilities. Gamma Beta sorority of Pratt has pledged funds to purchase one element for the inclusive playground with money raised from the December Christmas Craft Fair and the Quartermania Jewelry Auction. Gamma Beta is a chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International with 17 local members.
The Pilot Club recently mailed letters to local organizations and businesses to ask for donations for the inclusive playground equipment project. This type of playground equipment would make it possible for children with Down's Syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, and vision, hearing and sensory disorders to play and interact with children of typical abilities.
"It has been found that children who grow up with those with special needs to be more empathetic and kind toward those with disabilities," said Pilot Club member Linda Broce. "What a beautiful legacy and impact on the community can be made by working together."
As the Pilot Club has been working to secure funds for the special project, others in the community, in addition to the Gamma Beta sorority, has stepped up to help.
"The Pilot Club is very thankful for the support already shown by the community," said Pilot Club president Anel Cox. "Love is all you need. We are seeing that love from Pilot friends and the community."
The City of Pratt has agreed to help by installing the playground pieces purchased. The piece Gamma Beta has committed to purchase is call the Omni-Spin. It is a modern day merry-go-round, installed at ground level and spins on a stationary base with a speed limiter for safety. It incorporates high back molded seating to support children who don't have the strength to hold their own weight and prevents little ones from falling off. It is large enough to hold multiple children.
Several swings will be incorporated into the playground plan. Two will be regular swings, while two will be inclusive swings with high back support and deep seats. A front bumper and harness locks securely in place. Larger children and even adults can use these swings.
According to Broce, the Pilot Club's dream piece of equipment will feature a 36-foot long, 3-race lane, which is a zip line known as the Zip-Krooze. Two would be regular lanes and one would be a molded bucket seat with a harness that provides security and support for children with limited trunk stability. The amount needed to ad these pieces is $35,000.