09/11/13 As its first major fundraising event, the Freedom Park Committee hosted a 5K run, family fun run/walk, and concert event at the Amphitheater in Centennial Park on August 17, 2013. Thanks to over 100 participants, the event raised a little over $6,000.

“We were amazed by all of the support,” said Tony Gamble, Co-chair of the committee. “We weren’t sure what kind of turn out we were going to get since this was our first event, but we couldn’t have been happier with the results. We are still a long way from reaching our goal of raising almost $1 million to build this park, but this event gave us a great start.”

Following the race there was a free concert at the Amphitheater featuring Chad Van Herk (www.chadvanherk.com), a Plymouth native, and South Six 5 (www.southsix5.com), a young, high-energy acoustic duo that has performed throughout the Indianapolis area with over 120 shows in the last two years.

The Freedom Park Committee, in conjunction with the Plymouth Parks Department, is spearheading an initiative to build an all-inclusive playground in Plymouth, Indiana. An all-inclusive playground is designed and created to be accessible to all children of all abilities. According to the 2010 Census, there are 47,000 people living in Marshall County. Of these people, 17 percent over the age of five have a disability, while 7 percent under the age of five have a disability, yet there are no parks in Plymouth that can provide play components and equal access for those with all types of disabilities.

The mission of the Freedom Park Committee is to build a playground where differences disappear and children share experiences with their peers, while exploring and learning at their own ability. The vision is to build a playground that will be approximately 30,000 to 45,000 square feet of play area, to include ramps that connect the different levels or pods for play. It will include a splash pad for water fun, sensory gardens, swings, pavilion, restrooms and plenty

of shade. Freedom Park will be located next to the Hoosier Old Wheels Pavilion in Centennial Park.

“We believe that every child, no matter what their ability, should have equal access to quality, safe play opportunities,” said Gamble. “By developing this inclusive environment, we hope to improve the lives and dignity of all children in Marshall County. We believe it will allow children with disabilities the opportunity to experience play, ‘side-by-side’ with their able bodied peers, and the opportunity for their families to enjoy being a part of a community.”

More information on Freedom Park can be found at www.freedomparkin.com