Palo Alto Weekly

- April 19, 2013

Peery Foundation gives $1 million for disability playground

Magical Bridge to provide play equipment for adults and children of all abilities

by Sue Dremann

The Peery Foundation will donate a $1 million matching grant to build a playground for disabled children and adults at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, it was announced Wednesday.

The Magical Bridge playground will offer special equipment for children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, sensory problems and visual limitations. Allowing people of all abilities to play together, it would be the first of its kind in the country, founder Olenka Villareal said.

The Magical Bridge Project has received $1.1 million in other donations toward its $3.1 million goal. The Peery Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations received on or after April 19.

The grant and matching funds would allow the project to break ground by this fall, Villareal said. The Friends of the Magical Bridge Playground hope to secure all funding by June 15.

"We are inspired by the vision for this park. Palo Alto is full of wonderful parks, but this will be the first that allows all children, many who have had to watch from the sidelines, to fully participate in play with friends and family. We invite existing and new donors to find the generosity needed to make this park a reality," Peery said in a statement.

More information about the matching grant and the Magical Bridge Project is posted at www.razoo.com/story/Magical-Bridge.

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