Valparaiso's Central Park Ice Rink just became even more inclusive yesterday with the addition of two new, state-of-the-art ice sleds. The ice sleds, which were donated by the local non-profit group Hannah's Hope, are designed to make the ice skating experience accessible for children and adults who rely on wheel chairs for mobility.
Dan McGuire, Director of Facilities for Valpo Parks, was ecstatic to receive the donation. "In Valparaiso we started with the Valplayso and have continued work to make our parks and events accessible. The ice rink is accessible and the sleds make it more so," Dan shared with Hannah's Hope.
Eleven year old Izzy Murphy and her family were at the rink to be one of the first to try out the new ice sled. Izzy and her family love to skate, and saw the sleds for the first time at Maggie Daley Park in Chicago. "After seeing the sleds in Chicago, we contacted Valpo Parks about the possibility of making some available here where we live," said mom Allyson Murphy. They are now available close to home for Izzy to skate independently with her siblings and friends, and Izzy's excitement was clear!
Hannah's Hope heard of the need and made that wish come true for the Murphy family—and all visitors to the Central Park Plaza Ice Rink. Hannah's Hope Board President Mike Martinez said, "Hannah's Hope's primary goal is to provide equipment to children with special needs, and we see this donation as an extension of that. We are pleased that this donation is one that will be available to all visitors and will make a difference in the community." Hannah's Hope dedicates money each year to try to meet accessibility needs in the community.