Parents try to raise money for platform swings - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Parents try to raise money for platform swings

Every child deserves to get outside, play and just be a kid.

But getting to play on a playground doesn't come so easy to those with special needs.

This is why a group of southern Illinois parents have made it their mission to change that with adding platform swings to some of the area parks.

Tommie Gray and Sarah Bowen are inseparable.

Best friends who, like any other kid, enjoy playing at the park.

But with going to the playground comes some frustration for these two and their parents.

"It is just another dose of reality of what she is not able to do, " says Julie Bowen.

Their wheelchairs keep them from exploring and simply being a kid.

A trip to Morgan's Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas gave Tommie the freedom to play on a playground with no restrictions because of his wheelchair.

This is where the idea to install three platform swings in the tri-c parks came from.

"Tommie's favorite is to swing because he is free, the wind in his face, he can giggle squeal and he can control it all himself," says Rachelle Gray, Tommie's mom.

With the help of the community the group has raised more than $4,000 of the $15,000 needed to install three swings.

The moms and others are doing everything they can so that their kids, and anyone who is in a wheelchair can lead as normal as a life as possible.

"I think once Carterville and the tri-c area get them, other towns will follow suit. I think it is going to open a lot of eyes for the need that it is here in southern Illinois," says Rachelle.

"It is amazing what kids can handle, how they cope. And as moms we just follow their lead and we just learn to cope the best that we can with and for them," says Julie.

Ways to donate:

Cash or Check:


Bank of Herring

Attn: Jen Taylor

P.O. Box 10

Carterville, IL

Bake Sale

Saturday March 8th

8 AM - ?

Carterville Borowiak's

Dinner and Dance

Saturday March 29th 6PM-11PM

Tickets: $20

Can be purchased at the Bank of Herrin, Carterville Branch or Coldwell Pref. Realty.

There will be music, a silent auction and 50/50 drawing.

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