Austin Strong Brings Inclusive Play Ground To Monticello, IA
This evening (9/7) at 5pm people in the community of Monticello (my hometown) can enjoy a ribbon cutting and take part in the celebration at a new inclusive playground, built in memory of Austin Smith, by the Austin Strong Foundation. Then bring the kids back for the official first day of play, tomorrow (9/8).
For over a year, the Austin Smith Inclusive Playground has been in development and now you can see the foundation’s efforts proved true. It truly is a playground that has something for every kid, no matter their ability. It features accessible equipment, musical toys, and areas that help spark imagination, play, and growth in all children.
Donors and sponsors have contributed $450,000 for the project in honor of Austin Smith. Austin was diagnosed with a rare from a brain cancer (DIPG or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) when he was only 5 years old and passed away in 2016. Unfortunately, the survival rate for DIPG remains very low and at this time there is no cure for the tumor. The brain tumor team at St. Jude along with many other pediatric brain tumor programs across the U.S. continue to push for a cure. That’s where the Austin Strong Foundation comes in. Which was put in place by his parents to help raise funds for DIPG research to combat cancer in children; but, they also wanted to build a playground in a community that supported them and their son. The Smith family also hopes to build another inclusive playground in the Springville area in the future.
You can find more information about Austin, his family, and the Austin Strong Foundation here. Donations can be made online and sponsorships are available for future projects. And you can always sign-up to be a volunteer.
Take a full look at the all-inclusive playground in Monticello, IA!