At Sun Country Playgrounds, we believe playgrounds can tie communities together by providing fun, safe, and inclusive places for families with children to play. We recently came across a story published in People of a little girl in Brunswick, Ohio who started a lemonade stand to fund such a playground for her community.
Gwen Ciccozzi, 7, was born with cerebral palsy after suffering a perinatal stroke in the womb. Because Gwen has limited control over the right side of her body, she can’t enjoy herself as well at the playground in her hometown and her mother has to drive her 20 minutes out of the way to reach the closest inclusive playground.
Leann Alerio – another Brunswick resident who is also a special education coordinator for Brunswick City Schools – proposed building an inclusive park last year. Upon hearing Alerio’s proposal, Gwen was eager to help raise the money needed to build the facility. So, Gwen did what most children do when they need cash and set up a lemonade stand affectionally dubbed “Gwennie Penny’s Lemonade.”
So far, the lemonade stand has raised more than $1,000 and the Brunswick School System announced in March this year it would launch a joint fundraising effort to meet the expected $320,000 price tag for construction and maintenance. Provided everything goes smoothly, Gwen and other children with special needs could enjoy a local inclusive playground by March 2022.
For more information about Gwennie Penny’s Lemonade stand, visit the Facebook page where regular updates and information about how to donate are posted.