Anonymous Donors Boost Inclusive Playground Project

April 14, 2023

The Central Community College Foundation is pleased to announce a $250,000 challenge gift for the Pirnie Inclusive Playground at Ryder Park project. Two anonymous donors provided the funds, which must be matched by community donors. Once the challenge gift is matched dollar for dollar, fundraising for the $2.6 million project in Grand Island will be complete. As of April 4, the CCC Foundation reports that 92 percent of the necessary funding has been counted.

“The time is now, and I know our community will step up to match the $250,000 anonymous gift,” said CCC Foundation executive director Traci Skalberg. “We are so close to making the Pirnie Inclusive Playground at Ryder Park a reality for Grand Island. There are so many ways to give, including the upcoming Go Big GIVE online giving event.”

Groundbreaking for the 27,000-square-foot inclusive playground is scheduled for late July and expected to open in the fall. The playground will offer experiences for three stages of development, including spaces designed specifically for children ages 2-5, 5-11, and 12 and older. The concept originated with CCC students in the occupational therapy assistant program. The students were challenged to design a community project that would increase the mobility and quality of life for individuals who are unable to participate fully in daily activities due to physical or psychological limitations.

“This playground is going to be something truly special,” said Katie Soto, one of the co-chairs of the Pirnie Inclusive Playground campaign. “I never imagined it would be possible for my daughter Karsyn to be able to zipline or ride a merry-go-round with her two older siblings.”

In addition to the CCC Foundation, project partners include the City of Grand Island and the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation.