Addy Grace Foundation celebrates donation to help fund all-inclusive playground

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. - Addy Grace is always up for a game of peekaboo with her little brother Bryson. But her family hopes that soon the two will be able play together outside of their living room. Addy has spinal muscular atrophy, and a foundation bearing her name is raising money to help other kids like her.

"We want to build a common area where people can come together and play as one," said James Garner, Addy's dad.

The Addy Grace Foundation is planning to build an all-abilities playground in Botetourt County, next to the future YMCA site. With specialized equipment, the playground is designed to be safe and inclusive. But it carries a big price tag: $750,000.

"They want this playground in this community so bad that we've seen outreach that is unbelievable," said Garner.

Just recently, a group in Roanoke committed to help make the foundation's dream a reality. The Mountain Dale Lodge, part of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, donated a total of $71,000.

"This was where it needed to go. It's not just for the children. We have a lot of veterans out here that come home crippled with nowhere to take their children to play," said Rick Huddleston, a trustee with Mountain Dale Lodge. 

While Addy's family still has a fundraising journey ahead of them, $350,000 to be exact. They're keeping the faith that soon their daughter and others in the community will have a place to play.

"God has a plan for this project," said Garner.

For now this brother and sister will play inside, but one day, soon enough, their fun will have no limits beyond these walls. 

The Garner family is hoping to start building the playground next spring.

To learn more about the Addy Grace Foundation and how you can help, click here.
 

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