Vogelsang: Being Part of Something Way Beyond Special

Karen-VogelsangKaren Vogelsang Fundraising Committee Chair Valplayso Children's Committee

As Sir Winston Churchill stated, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." This year, we have the opportunity to join efforts to build something way beyond special. It will be life changing. Twenty years ago, a won- derful gentleman, Art Malasto, asked me to participate in the building of ValPlayso. If you had the privilege of knowing Art, you understand that saying "no" to this sort of request would be impossible as he and his wife, Irene, did not understand the meaning of the word.

I was asked to help raise money for the project because not only would we need people to build the park, we would also need funds. For some, the gift of hands is what they can offer. For others, they may not be able to lend a hand but they believe in the cause and can support it financially. Perhaps that person is you. It is all important. Perhaps you want to donate money to pay for a piece of playground equipment, buy a face plate with a picture of someone special on it, or even put your family's name on the picket fence. There are giving opportunities of all sizes for this community build project.

ValPlayso-The Next Generation will be a gathering place for all. For the first time, children with special needs will have the chance to play alongside other children. The surface of the park will be made of a material that will allow for the use of wheelchairs and other assistive equipment. The playground pieces will be handicapped accessible, and we will even have a zip line that can accommodate a child who cannot walk. How heartwarming is that?

As chair of the fundraising committee, I have the privilege of helping families make financial gifts. These gifts are sometimes made for tax purposes but more often out of the love and commitment to a cause that they believe in. This year, think about the impact that ValPlayso has made on your family. Did you play there as a child or did you take your grandchildren to swing on the swings? Did the sound of children laughing and playing warm your heart and make you smile? As a new grandmother, I can think of no better way to spend my day than at a park with my granddaughter.

So, if a volunteer calls and asks for your help to create this wonderful new park, please open your wallets and purses. Make a donation. Your gift matters and will make an impact on our children and our community.

To learn more or to volunteer visit www.ValPlayso.com.