A Playground for Fort Scott

“Build a new playground at the Mercy of Frank Halsey”

Presented by The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team

Underwritten by Janet Irby Braun and Family

Save the date and make plans to attend Bourbon County’s first ever Roast and Toast!

The evening of Saturday, August 19, at Liberty Theatre will be full of fun and laughter. The social hour starts at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and background music provided by Kansas City’s Private Stock. This will give attendees the opportunity to have pictures taken and buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Tailwind Cyclists. Raffle tickets are only $3 each or four for $10. Crooner’s Lounge will provide a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m. followed by entertainment and comedy in the form of a roast co-hosted by Larry Gazaway and Gregg Motley. Attendees are welcome to stay for music and dancing with Private Stock until 11 p.m.

The event will honor Frank Halsey for leading an initiative to bring multi-use trails to Gunn Park. Multi-use trails like those in Gunn Park have shown to have a positive impact on the economy and health outcomes. Frank Halsey spearheads three annual events each year that bring in outside participants, and their families, who patron local businesses, stay in local hotels, and eat at local restaurants. Not only do trails bring in outsiders, they have also shown to increase property value of homes and businesses located near them. You can show your support and purchase your tax-deductible tickets online at fortscott.com or at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, 231 E. Wall Street Fort Scott, KS  66701. Tickets are $50 each.

One hundred percent of ticket and raffle sales will be going to fund a Multi-Sensory Playground at Ellis Park. The Youth Activities Team has worked hard to plan and raise resources for a playground that will be accessible by all youth, regardless of ability, and meet therapeutic needs for children with special needs. All our children deserve a safe place to play, regardless of ability. [See a concept of the Playground]

Many children in Bourbon County do not have access to recreational play. One of many families personally impacted is that of Ryan and Jessica Collier, the parents of a two-year-old daughter born with a very rare condition called Koolen de’Vries Syndrome. They have shared their story:

We are the Collier family! Ryan, Jess, and Carter. Ryan and I graduated from Fort Scott High

School, pursued some form of higher education, met each other and eventually got married in April 2012. Although our true journey began on April 10, 2015, when our lives would forever be changed with the birth of our daughter Carter! She came in a whirlwind, as my body was failing her, she too began to fail. We were blessed with a great team of doctors that reacted quickly and ensured that she would be fine.

While spending 41 days in the NICU after her birth, we were informed that she is ‘RARE’. Carter was diagnosed with Koolen de’Vries Syndrome, which for her is a micro-deletion on her 17th chromosome. Koolen-de Vries Syndrome is a genetic syndrome involving the 17th chromosome and is caused by a micro-deletion at 17q21.31 (including KANSL1 gene) or caused by a change or mutation of the KANSL1 gene. Individuals affected experience developmental delays and learning difficulties, and the syndrome can also cause a number of other health concerns. Many people living with KdVS have medical and educational issues including but not limited to developmental delays, heart conditions and epilepsy. The prevalence of the micro-deletion is now estimated at 1 in 55,000 individuals.

As soon as we were released from the hospital, Carter was enrolled in several programs that support her development through therapy. At the moment Carter, receives physical therapy and speech therapy, and also completes assessments to monitor her developmental progress. Carter has severe and mild hearing loss, so she gets to rock adorable hearing aids, has SMOs braces for her feet, and will be having open heart surgery in the fall to correct a hole in her heart. Even with all these huge obstacles to face at such a young age, Carter has one of the best personalities. She is typically very friendly and happy. Granted, she is still a 2 year old! She is strong-willed, independent and truly the KOOLest kid we know!

A sensory playground in Fort Scott would mean a great deal to our family. It would allow Carter to have access to outdoor recreation that fits her needs. It would help her to work on physical and sensory skills that she needs to improve on, as well as give her the opportunity to meet and play with new friends!

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