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Iola Kiwanis to make a difference through play

Aug 01, 2013

Contest winner to use $25,000 prize to help fund inclusive playground

Iola Kiwanians know how to make a difference. After the entering the Make A Difference Through Play Contest through Kiwanis International's Facebook page and describing why their community needs a new playground, the Iola Kiwanis club won $25,000 in playground equipment from Landscape Structures Inc.

Planning is now underway for an inclusive playground at Riverside Park that will accommodate children and families with special needs. The City of Iola is situated along the Neosho River in Southeast Kansas. With a population of nearly 5,700 residents, Iola is the largest town in a tri-county area. 

The city’s main recreation space, Riverside Park, is home to many amenities including a pool, athletic fields and a playground. By collaborating with other local organizations—M.O.M., Iola Pride Committee, Iola Wal-Mart volunteers and many more—Iola Kiwanis will install a safe and inclusive play environment that will welcome all abilities.

“We are so excited to receive this $25,000 award to be used towards our inclusive playground,” said Michael Ford, Iola Kiwanis member who spearheaded the contest entry. “Community members, past and present, have supported our club through the entire process, and I know that they’ll help us bring this playground dream to fruition. I’m excited to start laying the groundwork for plans. I speak for the entire Iola Kiwanis club when I say how much we appreciate this award.”

The Iola Kiwanis club will complete their inclusive playground project on or around Kiwanis One Day, April 5, 2014. One Day is Kiwanis International’s signature day of service during which many clubs participate in service projects benefitting their local communities.

The Make a Difference Through Play contest was created to encourage Kiwanis clubs to bring play and playgrounds to communities across the globe. Both Landscape Structures and Kiwanis International believe that playgrounds build gathering spaces, which bring community members together to play, have fun and connect. Landscape Structures, headquartered in Delano, Minn., is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of commercial play equipment. Kiwanis International is a global organization of members of every age who are dedicated to serving the children of the world. The organizations began their partnership in January 2013.
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