Care aid creates fundraiser to make playgrounds for all on the West Shore

Fundraiser at Six Mile to help raise funds for accessible playground equipment

Dustin Copeman

A fundraiser at Six Mile Pub (494 Old Island Hwy) on Saturday, Nov. 10 will help raise money to upgrade two playgrounds in Colwood and make them more accessible for children in wheelchairs.

There will be a 50/50 draw, silent auction and the Tom Morrissey Band rocking the night away.

Heather Bodie, a child-care provider for Happy Campers Child Care, hopes to raise around $1,200 through the fundraiser to pay for accessible swings at  Herm Williams and Colwood Creek parks. Any additional money will go towards additional equipment.

“It’s also about showing other municipalities that just a few small changes can make it wheelchair accessible,” Bodier said.

Bodie works with Ethan Copeman, 7, who uses a wheelchair and has limited mobility. Bodie said taking Ethan to playgrounds is a challenge because if they have a gravel base she can’t take the wheelchair on it and most playgrounds don’t have equipment for children with disabilities.

Ethan said doesn’t like sitting on the sidelines watching the other children play.

“Bored,” Ethan said about how it makes him feel. “If you just play, it’s fun.”

“He should be able to interact like every other kid,” Ethan’s father Dustin said, “so he doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines.”

Westhills, a development in Langford, opened a wheelchair-accessible playground for two to five year olds last month at Parklands Park. The park has a surface made of recycled rubber.

Bodie has taken Ethan to the playground in Westhills and thinks it’s a fantastic idea, but hopes it’s properly maintained. Keeping the ground cover even, for instance, is important.

West Shore Parks and Recreation is also working with the Colwood Rotary to install a new playground in the Lower Park. That park will be wheelchair accessible with features for children with disabilities.

The project is estimated to cost $244,000 and currently just over $100,000 has been raised.

 

The dinner is sold out but people can show up after 8 p.m. for the music, draw and silent auction.

 

 

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