YMCA of Hannibal unveils new special needs playground - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

YMCA of Hannibal unveils new special needs playground

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

For parents with special needs kids, it's a constant struggle to find a place where they can feel just like any other kid. But, now there's a new playground in Hannibal, bringing joy for families of all kinds.

The YMCA of Hannibal unveiled its new $160,000 special needs playground on Friday.

"Summer had expressed the need for a playground for a number of years but the functionality was difficult due to lack of expansions space and the cost for such an endeavor was right at $160,000," said. Pete Friesen, YMCA Executive Director said.

The playground features a special swing designed for those that use a wheelchair. Ramp access is also available for slides, a wheel chair accessible sand box and musical play stations.

"We had some funds available that we wanted to contribute and see if there were any special projects that we could do for the community," said YMCA Member Jared Coons. "We bounced around a couple of ideas and this was certainly the primary one."

Jared Coons is not only a Y member, but he was part of the driving force that led to the new playground, donating $100,000. The Y Men's Club pledged to pay the remaining $60,000.

"I've been to many Y's across the country and there's nothing compared to this," said Coons.

But, the playground isn't just for those with special needs. It's open to everyone. Hannibal mom Rebecca Immegart brought her 2 kids to the opening Friday morning. Immegart says she's excited to have a place where the young ones can burn off some energy.

"When we get home they just want to bounce off the walls so, if they're out here it's going to be nice," said Immegart. "Nap time is going to go a little bit smoother. I have a feeling."

The new playground being a place that every child can enjoy.

"At least have somewhere for their handicap children to come swing and enjoy the playground like they should be able to and be children," said Immegart.

The playground equipment is open to anyone, but parents must stay to monitor their children.

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