10-year-old helps raise $1,000 for all-inclusive playground so no one is left out


FLORISSANT, Mo. – One all-inclusive playground is getting one step closer to its fundraising goal thanks to a 10-year-old Florissant girl named Allison Wideman. Angie’s inclusive playground is the vision of a father.

“It gives me chills to think of what it would mean to Gary to be standing here,” Natalie Mackay said.

Gary Behlmann is the dad who started the project in 2008, all in memory of his daughter. Since then, Gary lost his own battle with cancer. Despite the loss, the project propelled forward with a goal to raise $785,000. So far, they’ve achieved 86% of their goal but not without some help.

“So Allison is a 10-year-old girl that has done more than any child has done throughout all the playgrounds that we have worked on,” Mackay said.

Allison Wideman is a 5 th grader who took the initiative to donate over $1,000.

“I thought it would be cool to buy these bongos where everyone could play with them,” Wideman said.

After lemonade stands and a garage sale, Wideman presented the check to Mayor Timothy Lowry.

The playground includes special features like access for wheelchairs, special walking surfaces, and sensory areas.

“It means that everybody is going to be able to play and I’m going to be able to be a part of it,” Wideman said.

For parents like Natalie Mackay, the founder of “Unlimited Play,” it’s more than just a trip to the park.

“It probably feels like winning the Super Bowl feels, you know, something like that to families like mine,” Mackay said.

To donate, visit unlimitedplay.org/donate/.

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