This week one of mommy and daddy’s favorite local restaurants, The Mason Jar Tavern held a special pancake breakfast to raise money for a worthy cause. Yes, the same place that provides mommy and daddy delicious Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls and Blueberry Moonshine cocktails (you heard me right… blueberry moonshine – equal parts healthy and disgraceful) opened up their dining room and kitchen to serve pancakes and coffee to help kids like you my dear. What a beautiful world.
The breakfast was hosted by the Wake Southwest Centennial Lions Club in support of a foundation that is sure to benefit our family. The proceeds from this moonshine-less ;) breakfast went toward the Sense of Play Foundation to help raise money for what’s called an “inclusive playground” right here in HollySprings.
Inclusive playgrounds are special places designed for all kids; kids with special needs, both physical and neurological, as well as neurotypical kids. The idea is to create a playscape for all – including those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to play together.
So, while we went to support this initiative, we also learned a something about our gracious host as well…
The Wake Southwest Centennial Lions Club is a local chapter of Lions Clubs International serving the southwest Wake County community of North Carolina. Their other initiatives include the Holly Springs Food Pantry, Backpack Buddies, local pediatric vision screenings, and special needs resources, as well as all of the Lions Clubs International initiatives. Truly Addie, these are ALL really great things, and our family is going to get even more involved in helping them in the coming months!
The Lions Club has a cool motto "We Serve" and that they do. These Lions are part of a global service network, doing whatever is necessary to help our local communities. Not to mention, you know how much daddy loves his Detroit Lions (poor soul…), so it just makes sense that we would love these lions too!
Remember our family motto, “One Team, One Dream” …we are better together than we are alone? I think the lions club would agree, as they are helping to serve alongside others to achieve some bigger dreams right here in our community, and we are very grateful for that.
As we entered the Tavern, (about 15 minutes after waking the crew up for the day), we were greeted by a group of smiling teenagers known as the Leos. Come to find out, the Leos are part of a youth program affiliated with the lions club that provides personal development through volunteering. This group of very awake (for an early Saturdaymorning), sweet teenagers were anxiously waiting to assist us to our table and serve us breakfast. Pretty cool program in my opinion and they truly did an amazing job, so kudos to them!
So, as I said, the purpose of the fundraiser was to benefit the Sense of Play Foundation, which is part of our Mayor’s Anti Bullying Campaign. The objective is to build a new all-inclusive park in our town! Awesome right!? But why stop there? In addition to building this all-inclusive park where everyone can play together, they plan to add playground equipment to existing parks specifically designed for special needs kids too! What a beautiful vision of having all our kids in the community happily playing and interacting with one another!
I’ll raise my Styrofoam cup of coffee (wish it was blueberry moonshine… but who’s counting…) to that! Cheers! What amazing vision!
Some would ask, why is an all-inclusive park so important?
Well, let’s just take our family for example. We love parks and playgrounds, but often when we go to the park, Clara and Gabe run in one direction to use some of the equipment geared to their ages, and you gravitate to the equipment designed for young children (toddler age) because it is more accessible to you.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ve mastered the art of swinging on even the smallest of swings – our neighbors can attest to this, but it kind of takes away from family time right? And it might be a bit overwhelming when a 2yr old sees a giant almost 7 year old beauty such as yourself aggressively swinging so carefree on something designed for them.
An inclusive playground provides a range of challenges -sensory, motor, cognitive, as well as social & emotional for kids of all abilities. Parks and playgrounds play a very important role in development for kids, providing multisensory experiences that help build the brain more quickly.
Wouldn’t it be great for all three of you to experience the same park elements together – OTOD style?
While not all equipment will be able to be accessible to everyone, with inclusive park projects the intent would be in making the coolest and most fun parts accessible to all, giving an interactive experience where everyone can play together. Better yet, Sense of Play has some very cool plans for this new all-inclusive park and we can’t wait to see this come to fruit!
So, Addie, this week we woke up early and supported a future community project one delicious bite at a time.
Stay tuned baby girl, new exciting things will be coming to our town soon!