-3.1 C
Monday, December 16, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Kate’s Kause launches 20:20

Accessible washroom in Elmira's Gibson Park is the group's latest fundraising drive


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new family...

Talking sports, and then some

If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of major sports leagues, the On the Rise podcast has got...

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

Police out in force with RIDE programs through the holidays

With the holidays just weeks away, police have their festive RIDE program in full swing. Police services across...


overcast clouds
-3.1 ° C
-1.7 °
-5 °
62 %
90 %
-0 °
-1 °
-3 °
-11 °
-11 °

Kate’s Kause charity is aiming to increase equity and promote inclusivity through its latest endeavour, as organizers have partnered with the Township of Woolwich to complete a permanent accessible washroom in Elmira’s Gibson Park by summer 2020.

The Kate’s Kause 20:20 campaign aims to raise $20,000 of the $200,000 cost.

Kelly Meissner, organizer and founder of Kate’s Kause, said the project is a great way to make every family feel like they belong.

“It’s a big project, and to provide this level of accessibility – we’re going above and beyond,” said Meissner. “We really want to change the game for what this looks like. That’s been our mandate from the get-go: change the game for people living with this disability for them and their families and their friends.”

Families who use the accessible playground at Gibson Park and accessible splash pad at Bolender Park in Elmira are being challenged with the straightforward 20:20 goal: fundraise $20 from 20 people during the park high-season months of June and July.

It may be an ambitious goal, but the charity has a proven track record of completing seemingly massive tasks.

Volunteers and community partners saw their vision come to life when they revitalized Gibson Park in Elmira back in 2012 called Kate’s Place for Everyone. It built a community hub and broke down barriers between children living with disabilities as their peers came together to play.

By 2017, they had met another goal: a vibrant, accessible splash pad along with playground at Bolender Park. It gave life to an underused park in the town and drew even more families to Woolwich Township. Meissner said she is amazed by how many people travel far distances to visit these play areas, including acquaintances from Toronto.

“I can’t believe how many people come from out of town,” said Meissner. “People drive from hours away to have this visit to the park.”

The goal is very personal to Kelly, whose daughter Kate has Angelman’s syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder characterized by a severe global developmental delay. Meissner said these accessible spaces had been an enormous benefit.

“The playground and the splash pad have been amazing for Kate’s development,” said Meissner. “We’re so happy that she has progressed so far physically. She couldn’t walk when we first built the playground; now she walks, runs and jumps – it’s really fun. We’ve loved watching her physical development, but we’ve also, more importantly almost, loved the social development she gets from the playground.”

In addition to helping her own daughter, Meissner wants to extend that feeling of equity to all families dealing with a disability or disorder. She knows the struggle of leaving a destination due to a bathroom emergency. With accessible washrooms, that will no longer be an issue.

“It shouldn’t come down to ‘oh I can’t stay because I can’t use this bathroom.’ We’re often having to acknowledge whenever we go any place with Kate, is there an accessible spot that we can use a bathroom? We have to plan that out.

“Their life is already challenging, and we think we can make it a little easier and help them feel like they’re a typical family participating in their community,” said Meissner, adding these washrooms would also make life easier for the caregiver.

Sponsors have provided a $20 gift card to the first 20 families that complete the 20:20 challenge. Every fundraising family is also entered in a draw to win a $500 Visa gift card.

Every dollar of an individual 20:20 campaign donation made online through Canada Helps (online fundraising hub) in June and July is also an automatic entry for Kate’s Kause to win a $10,000 Giving Challenge donation, a summer giving initiative of Canada Helps, supporting Canadian charities.

For more information on how to participate in Kate’s Kause 20:20 campaign, visit www.kateskause.com. All interested families can register at www.kateskause.com/fundraising-events.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Embracing the trappings of the season, writ large

A local decorator has transformed her Wellesley property into a winter wonderland, carrying on a decade-long tradition for a good cause. The final product is truly a festive sight, featuring...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Kings take two of three in a busy weekend schedule

It was a mixed bag for the Sugar Kings, who won two out of their three games during a busy weekend that saw...

The trek south was long and gruelling, but they’ll do it again

It was a long haul complete with many hurdles, but having completed the 4,300-kilometre ultra-marathon last month, organizers are already planning for the next...

Talking sports, and then some

If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of major sports leagues, the On the Rise podcast has got you covered.

Buddy’s trek from the North Pole brings him to the stage in Cambridge

They’ll be no rest for Santa after his big day December 25, as he’ll be on stage into the new year due to...

Wellesley Applejacks win lone game of the weekend

The Wellesley Applejacks got back on track with a win over the Mounties in Paris on Saturday night, making up for a pair...
- Advertisement -