In Photo, L-R: (back row): David Martin, Chief Operating Officer, LDG; Keith S. Kuzio; Andy Russell; Cindy Russell; Fritz M. Heinemann, President, Andy Russell Charitable Foundation, Central Pennsylvania Region.
Kneeling: Pete DeWire and his wife, Cookie, Advisers to the All Inclusive Playground Volunteer Committee.
Larson Design Group of Selinsgrove will partner with the Andy Russell Charitable Foundation of Lewisburg to donate surveying services for the construction of an all-inclusive, barrier free playground to be built at the East Snyder recreational center in Selinsgrove to benefit special needs children.
LDG is a nationally emerging architectural, engineering and survey firm with offices in Selinsgrove and nine other cities in four states. The Lewisburg based Russell Foundation, founded by the former Pittsburgh star linebacker and his wife Cindy, funds various charities and medical research organizations with emphasis on children’s causes.
“Stewardship for important community efforts is a core value at our firm, so the decision to donate our services to a local playground benefiting kids with special needs was easy,” said Keith S. Kuzio, Larson Design Group President and CEO.
Russell said the initiative is “one of the most important and significant we’ve done through our Foundation and Cindy and I are excited and pleased to be part of the endeavor.”
When constructed, the all-inclusive, barrier free playground, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, will consist of 15 key features designed to accommodate special needs children with various disabilities, including those with autism and intellectual or mobility challenges. The playground will provide a rich play space where children can grow and learn through physical, sensory and social experiences. Said Russell, “the playground will offer graduated levels of challenge to ensure that all children are actively engaged and challenged.” Cindy Russell noted the playground design includes a dog park so those with service animals may bring them along knowing their companions are close by and safe.
The playground design has been endorsed and accredited by the national consulting firm, Let Kids Play!, whose stamp of approval is a critically important factor as part of the construction process. In their approval letter, Let Kids Play! stated “Your playground meets or exceeds the American With Disabilities Act regulations” which Kuzio called a “powerful blue-ribbon endorsement.”
With a $475,000 public fund drive currently underway, playground committee members hope a mid-spring groundbreaking will take place with construction completed by late summer of 2018. For further information please visit www.andyrussell.org or call 570-522-5322.