Kiwanis to bring great playground

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

There are children throughout Shelby County who cannot experience playgrounds as many of us did growing up due to physical and mental handicaps.

The Kiwanis Club of Helena, however, envisions a playground constructed just for those children and is working hard to raise the needed funds to make that vision become a reality.

What is the vision of the Kiwanis Club of Helena?

To construct a Boundless Playground in Helena’s Joe Tucker Park that will be accessible to all children regardless of their special circumstances.

According to the club, all of the equipment used in the park will be designed to stimulate mental, social and physical development.

And according to club president Jerry Austin, the club hopes to have the playground ready for children before the weather turns cool again this fall.

And the Shelby County Commission is working alongside those in Helena for whom this has become a priority.

Representing the Commission, Commissioner Joel Bearden presented a check to the club last week totaling $25,000 which will go a long way toward funding the playground.

Helena’s Mayor Sonny Penhale and parks and recreation director Brian Hayes are to be thanked for their work in preparing the grant request.

Countless other groups, including the Kiwanis Club of Columbiana, have made donations to this worthwhile project.

The playground will cost more than $200,000 to complete so more donations are still needed.

The Joe Tucker Park playground comes as a result of a project conceived by the Alabama District of Kiwanis International, which is spearheading the development of four such playgrounds across the state; other playgrounds will be in Montgomery and Sheffield.

How fortunate we are that soon our county will be home to such a wonderful asset.

But perhaps our county’s greatest asset is the people who make such visions become a reality.

Individuals or corporations wishing to make a tax deductible contribution to this project may send a check made payable to &uot;Alabama Kiwanis Foundation&uot; to P.O. Box 817, Helena, AL 35080.

For additional information, call 620-3710.

Tim Prince is the publisher of the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at