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Lucas Fitsche recently joined the Perry County Commission to say “thanks” for contributing to his project, Lucas and Friends Backyard Adventures Playground. The Perry County Commission allocated $50,000 from the Local Park Sales Tax fund to be used for Perryville’s first Unlimited-Play all-inclusive playground.
Lucas, a student at Perry County Middle School, was accompanied at the commission meeting by his parents, Jennifer and John Fritsche, along with Hanna Bohnert and Perryville Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cadwell. Commissioners Mike Sauer, Jim Sutterer and Jay Wengert were present for the September 16 meeting.
Lucas was inspired to create a playground accessible for all when as an elementary student, he noticed one of his class members rarely joined other children outside for recess due to the classmate’s wheelchair. After learning from his classmate how difficult it was to even get to the playground much less play, Lucas made it his mission to give his new friend the chance to play.
The new park, slated to open soon, will be located at Robert J. Miget Memorial Park on French Lane, next to the City of Perryville’s newly opened splash pad. Unlimited Play is an award-winning nonprofit organization that builds universally inclusive playgrounds to promote health and wellness and change communities by providing freedom of play for all children.
Lucas and his family are still soliciting donations for the playground. They established a goal of raising $1 million, and have been hosting fundraisers and asking for contributions over the last two years. More information about their project can be found on their Facebook page Lucas & Friends Backyard Adventures Playground, or at https://unlimitedplay.org/playground/lucas-friends-backyard-adventures/?fbclid=IwAR0ThM2p9D_StEf5aCLCOX4VYXCJAXQS-N6YCbnK7GBPKOgmMdH8ctFXhXI