Teen's $100,000 dream project fun for everyone

Turning dreams to reality in form of new playground

VINE GROVE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Fun for everyone seems like a simple concept, but in one local community that hasn't been possible until now.

Summer is in full swing for kids across Kentuckiana, but kids in Hardin County with disabilities are often left sitting on the sidelines.  

Rachel Ritchie is hoping to change that by fulfilling a lifelong dream of a park that’s fun for everyone.

“Whenever I was 9-years-old I saw disabled children not being able to play on the playground like I could,” said Rachel Ritchie.  “I thought it wasn’t fair, and that someone should make a change.  I wrote a letter, showed my parents, and here we are.”

While the teen has always had an idea of what she wanted the park to look like reaching her goal wasn’t as easy as she makes it seem.

“We had to raise $100,000, but whenever it’s all said and done this will be a $500,000 playground,” said Ritchie.

Five years later crews are breaking ground.

“We’ve had community fundraisers such as a charity motorcycle ride, a picnic in the park, golf scrambles the list goes on and on,” said Ritchie.  “It’s amazing what community support and a little hard work can do.”

With each truckload, crews are pouring a solid foundation for the future.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re an adult because kids are the next generation,” said Ritchie.  “We are the future, so why don’t we start making changes and positive impacts now.  I just hope that through this playground I can take a step towards leveling the standards for those with disabilities.  The basic right of play is something that everyone should be able to take part in.”

Leaving kids with a lasting message that’s fun for everyone.

“I just hope kids show up and play on it,” said Ritchie.

While the money has been raised and the concrete has been poured the work here is far from over.  Volunteers like you are needed, rain or shine, on Saturday to help put the finishing touches on this project. 

For what you can do to help click here: http://www.rachelsfunforeveryoneproject.com/.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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