SELINSGROVE – Soon Valley residents who are disabled or have mental disabilities will have a place to enjoy themselves. All of this is made possible by a former Pittsburgh Steeler. Thanks to the Andy Russell Charitable Foundation, an all inclusive playground for the handicapped and mentally challenged is coming at East Snyder Park in Snyder County.
Russell was impressed with playground’s layout, “I was really impressed with that East Snyder Park. It’s over 40 acres…I think its 42 acres. It’s very well developed. The people of this community have been very strong.”
Russell’s wife Cindy says the new playground site is beautiful, “We saw the site yesterday. It’s 9,600 square-feet and it’s cordoned off. We’re going to hopefully get the playground material donated. But we are trying to raise money for the equipment.”
The playground will accommodate anyone using wheelchairs, crutches, or any physical handicap. It’s also usable for caregivers and parents taking care of those individuals. The foundation is also looking to get the playground certified by all regulatory agencies.
Fritz Heineman, President of the Central Pennsylvania division of the foundation, says this will be the first park in Pennsylvania accommodating those with disabilities, “The neat thing is you can take a child in a wheelchair and have them participate on some of the equipment with the parent or caretaker right there too. So there’s built-in safety.”
For more information, visit andyrussell.org. You can listen to more from Heineman and the Russells at WKOK.com.