INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Climbing, sliding and running at McCoy Park in Independence are the favorite pastimes of Thomas and sister Rebekkah. While Thomas undoubtedly has a blast, the three-year-old gets tired easily.
"Some of the equipment is built for children who can go easily up steps and he has a hard time," said Sarah Smith, the kids' mom. "So, for example at this park, he has a hard time getting to the slide because it's not built for him and his short legs."
Down syndrome has made playing at the playground difficult for Thomas. That's why his mom Sarah is hoping the metro will help Independence win $25,000 to fund a Play with No Boundaries Playground meant for kids with disabilities.
"This will be one of the only playgrounds in Kansas City that's built for special needs kids," said Smith. "It will be a huge asset to our community. Independence Parks and Rec. provides great parks, but this will be the cherry on the top."
Like most parks, the No Boundaries playground would feature swings, slides and a jungle gym, but what sets this park apart is that all of the playground equipment will be designed with special needs kids in mind.
"It's not that we want it, it's that we need it," said Jeremy Rogers, the Independence Parks and Rec. recreation supervisor. "There's no playground on this side of the state with No Boundaries playground. There's a few in St. Louis, but once you get to this area there's none."
If the public casts enough votes through State Farm's "Cause and Effect" program, the insurance company will award Independence with $25,000 to put toward the playground for kids like Thomas.
Right now Independence is in 38th place. It must stay within the top 40 to win the challenge. You can vote for the Play with No Boundaries fund raiser or 99 others in the running.
To Vote for Independence's cause:
- Go to State Farm's 'Cause An Effect' Facebook page.
- Click 'Vote Now.'
- A map of the U.S. will load. Choose the state of Missouri.
- Select the "Play with No Boundaries" option.
- Vote up to 10 times a day through Thursday, May 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST.