BERTHOUD, Colo. — A Berthoud family who’s raising money to build an adaptive park where all three of their boys can play is getting closer to their goal thanks to generous donations to Denver7 Gives.
Lauren and Richard Bowling have three boys — older brother Braxton and twins Mack and Miles. Due to complications during pregnancy with the twins, 4-year-old Miles developed cerebral palsy, and he requires a wheelchair full time.
When the Bowlings moved to their home in Berthoud’s Farmstead community, it meant they were 40 minutes away from an accessible playground where all three of their kids can play.
It sparked an idea to start raising money to help build an inclusive playground in their neighborhood.
"Letting children play together and teaching them that inclusive play this young is a lifelong lesson. It's something that... we see today that the world is missing, and I think that it's something that we can introduce here in our community right now," Lauren Bowling previously told Denver7.
With the help of the developer in the community, Will Edwards with Edwards Development, the Longmont nonprofit, Can'd Aid, and Star Playgrounds, they got to work on what has become the Berthoud Adaptive Park Project.
The farm-themed playground is designed for people of all abilities, incorporating accessible elements for children who use mobility aids and challenging elements for able-bodied children.
It will include features like slides, frog hops, monkey bars, climbers, a merry-go-round, two ziplines and a swing area.
And it comes with a big price tag: $1 million.
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The family has raised money through a lemonade stand and multiple community partners and events. As part of the Barrett-Jackson car auction, the project most recently received a $250,000 donation for a completely customized 2012 Jeep Wrangler pickup donated by Oskar Blues Founder Dale Katcheis.
Edwards Development also committed to a $100,000 match donation for money raised by the twins’ birthday, May 19.
With the help of generous Denver7 Gives viewers, the Bowlings are now $5,000 closer to their goal.
“I would just like to thank everybody for their generosity, and I know that there are a lot of causes out there and a lot of people who are asking for your money and a lot of ways to spend your hard earned money," Lauren Bowling said. “It will make an impact not only on Miles, but on all kids with special needs and without."
Donations can still be made to a Denver7 Gives fund set up to help the Bowlings reach their goal by clicking "Help the Bowlings Build an Adaptive Playground" in the Denver7 Gives dropdown menu.
They're working on more ways to raise money, like a booth at Berthoud Day and partnering with other local businesses.
The Bowlings hope to break ground on the playground in the fall and have it open by next spring.
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