The second phase of the barrier-free playground at Mattie McCullough Elementary School will be paid for with help from an art battle fundraiser, May 11 at The Hideout. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s barrier-free playground to benefit from art battle fundraiser

May 11 event will raise money to finish final phase

Local artists will battle it out this month to help complete an accessible, barrier-free playground in Red Deer.

The third-annual Access for All Playscape Paint Party will be held Saturday, May 11, at The Hideout Eats & Beats in Red Deer County.

The party will feature eight artists painting and competing for live auction bids on their works. The artists will paint in 30-minute intervals, over three rounds, until a champion is chosen.

All contributions will support the Access for All Barrier Free Playscape Project at Mattie McCullough Elementary School at 26 Lawford Ave. in Red Deer.

With Phase 1 complete, the final phase of the playground will be built this summer.

The fundraiser will hopefully generate funds to enable the committee to order and install the last pieces of equipment needed for the project, said Leslee Burton, an Access for All committee member.

“Access for All is a long-term investment in our community. We believe encouraging all abilities of people to mix and play together educates, gels and strengthens our community.”

The next addition will be a merry-go-round for those in a wheelchair, as well as able-bodied people.

Burton said there will also be a “secret item” installed to encourage imaginative play.

“It will help kids think beyond their immediate world, will stimulate mental and physical stretching. It will be a unique item, very global in nature.”

As well, the committee is planning a small rest area “to ensure caregivers are welcomed and made comfortable.”

Burton said Phase 2 will complete “a truly barrier-free, accessible and inclusive destination playground that Red Deer will be proud of.”

The committee is made up of Red Deer Rotary Clubs members, parents and staff from Mattie McCullough Elementary School, Make a Move with Jaggar Foundation, the City of Red Deer, and the general public.

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