Phase II

Volunteers turn out for playground build
Ann Gill

There were plenty of hugs and high-fives for the young girl who arrived with a basket full of beverages for volunteers working in the playground not far from her home.
Sophia brought bottles of water and an assortment of canned soda for the workers who spent hours putting together playground equipment for the expansion of Hope Helps’ all-inclusive playground at Coal City’s Lions Park, 460 S. Illinois St.
Standing along the orange plastic fencing, the youngster greeted the workers with a smile and in turn, they thanked her for her generosity.
It is through the generosity of community members, organizations, small businesses and corporate sponsors that the popular community playground is expanding by 2,875-square feet.
Hope Helps, a non-profit autism awareness organization serving Grundy and Will counties, build the park three years ago.
About a year ago, founder Brittney Kaluzny approached the Coal City Village Board with plans for an expansion and in that time she raised the $150,000 needed to cover the associated costs.
The new space includes a globe spinner, sensory tunnel, wheel chair accessible glider and high back/harness teeter totter. The play space also has additional benches, shade covers and handicap accessible picnic tables.
A grand opening for phase II of the playground is set for Saturday, July 6 beginning with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m.
The organization will recognize its sponsors during the ceremony, followed by a celebration with free family entertainment.
Community members are invited to participate in the grand opening celebration.