West Kelowna  

Fundraising efforts for inclusive playground closing in on goal

500k raised for playground

Julia's Junction is getting closer to becoming reality by the day as fundraising efforts to build the inclusive playground in West Kelowna move past $500,000.

The inclusive playground is the vision of West Kelowna mom Melissa Grassmick, and named for her daughter Julia who requires a wheelchair to get around after a blood clot that compressed her spine when she was 17 months old left her paralyzed from about the waist down.

Grassmick, who began fundraising for the estimated $750,000 for the playground back in January, told city council Tuesday evening those efforts have surpassed the $500,000 mark.

Along with a city contribution of up to $200,000, Grassmick says she has received donations from corporations, charities, grants as well as various fundraising events.

Bottle drives alone have netted more than $8,000.

Along with funding, the city is also donating the land at Westbank Town Centre Park and is committing to maintaining the playground in perpetuity.

Grassmick estimated it will cost about $753,000 to construct the playground.

She expects shovels in the ground by April 1 with an anticipated opening at the end of June,.

"This is going to be our gold standard for playground in the community," said Coun. Garrett Millsap, the city's representative on the newly created accessibility committee.

Numerous fundraising are scheduled in the coming months, including tomorrow night's Aaron Pritchett concert at Crown and Thieves Winery.

Click here for tickets.

You can also click here to donate to the cause.

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