PLAYGROUND DEDICATION SET FOR JULY 3rd
PITTSBURG, Kan.—After almost eight years of hard work and sacrifice, local visionaries on Friday will join children of all ages to celebrate the grand opening of Katherine’s Playground, Pittsburg’s only universally accessible, inclusive playground located at Schlanger Park. The park is on the north side of East 4th Street, at 725 E. 6th Street in Pittsburg.
Ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremonies start at 2 p.m. on July 3rd. The event will include Katherine Holland Dean, an inspirational 14-year-old young lady with significant disabilities for whom the playground is named. She is the granddaughter of Dr. Harvey and Sharon Dean, who helped fund the playground, and Jim and Barbara Herbert, who served on the Everybody Plays Committee that oversaw the funding and building of the playground. They also will attend the ceremony.
“This accessible playground is a significant milestone, for Southeast Kansas and especially for people with disabilities and children of all ages,” said an enthusiastic Lou Ann Colyer of Pittsburg SKIL, another member of the Everybody Plays Committee. “We can’t wait to see families playing together and utilizing the only accessible playground equipment in Pittsburg.”
Katherine’s Playground features an uninhibited play space, where those of all abilities are free to play, Colyer said. “This playground is totally accessible, it is constructed with all ramps, there are no stairs and the surfacing is a poured in-place surfacing. This unique feature makes it accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and anyone with mobility concerns. Katherine’s Playground has a number of slides, a music feature, crow’s nest and many fun features to engage the children playing on the slides,” she said.
“This is truly a community effort to get the playground built,” Colyer noted. “On July 3rd, please join us, let your inner child out to play, share a cookie with us and take your turn on the slides. It’s been a long journey of almost eight years, but we finally succeeded! This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of many people and organizations, and we want to say thank you.” The Everybody Plays Committee consists of Colyer, Kim Vogel and Sara Vacca of Pittsburg Parks and Barbara Herbert. Future playground expansion is planned.
For more information and directions, contact Colyer at Pittsburg SKIL at: 620-231-6780.
Chanute SKIL Thanks Customers, Community
Nancy G. Holman
CHANUTE, Kan.—The Chanute SKIL office honored customers and the area community June 19th at its free annual Customer Appreciation Picnic. The picnic was held at Zion Lutheran Family Life Center in Chanute.
Over 30 people attended, enjoying a free all-you-can-eat dinner of hot dogs, chips and cookies. SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney, other SKIL staff and board members were on hand to visit with attendees. All food for the event was generously donated, and two people won $25 Walmart gift cards donated by Chanute Walmart, said Sharon Traylor, Independent Living Coordinator for Chanute SKIL.
“Thank you to the customers and community who came and helped make the picnic a success,” Traylor said. “A special thanks to all who donated.”
Coatney said she appreciated the opportunity to meet some of the people SKIL serves.
“I always enjoy coming out to the branch office locations and seeing familiar faces as well as new ones every time,” she said. “Thanks to everyone.”
SKIL is a Kansas-based independent living center that serves people with disabilities. Headquartered in Parsons, it has branch offices in Chanute and other Kansas locations. For more information, contact Chanute SKIL at: 1-866-927-0757 or stop by its office at 2 West Main St. in Chanute.
PARSONS, Kan. – The SKIL Resource Center, Inc., has started the process of transferring ownership of KLKC-AM & FM radio to a new local ownership group – Parsons Media Group, it was announced Tuesday afternoon (June 23).
Parsons Media Group, led by Dr. Wayne Gilmore and Greg Chalker of Parsons, and SKIL are in the process of transferring the necessary documents required to operate KLKC-AM & FM stations. The sale will be finalized pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
By Nancy G. Holman
BIG HILL LAKE— Over 60 anglers with disabilities enjoyed a day of fishing and other leisure activities under summer-like skies June 6 at a popular SKIL Resource Center-sponsored gathering. The Southeast Kansas Chapter of Fishing Has No Boundaries (SEK FHNB) annual event at Big Hill Lake included disabled anglers, SKIL personnel, anglers’ personal care attendants and family members.
Kyle, a SKIL customer, was one of those anglers. This year was his first time at the fishing event, he said. In coming, the 19-year-old fisherman continued a happy tradition he started as a child.
“My uncle George, he’s the one who started me fishing,” Kyle said. “I believe he said it was a good way to calm my nerves. I’ve fished on my own and with family members and with SKIL personnel. I came because I thought it would be fun.”
Ivan, another SKIL customer, said he has been coming to the annual FHNB gathering since 2011.
“I just like to fish,” he said. “I grew up fishing and then got hurt, so this is the only time I get to go fishing.” SKIL personnel assisted anglers throughout the day, which included breakfast, lunch, a dinner cookout, boating on the lake and prizes for the biggest and most fish caught.
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities.
This legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. On July 26, 2015, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.
The ADA has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers and changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life. However, the full promise of the ADA will only be reached if we remain committed to continue our efforts to fully implement the ADA.