BENEFITING: COURTNEYS SANDCASTLE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
Courtney’s SandCastle is a universal playground, which serves children of all abilities, and is especially designed for children with physical, mental and sensory disabilities. Courtney’s SandCastle is named for Courtney Faye Smith who has been confined to a wheelchair because of a rare muscular degenerative disease – Spinal Muscular Atrophy. When Courtney and her friends visited local parks together, she was unable to participate as are some 18,000 other children in Orange County with disabilities. The playground opened in February 2012 and receives over 300 visitors per day.
The Courtney’s SandCastle Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and was established to ensure that the Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground provide every child in the community fun and interactive play opportunities regardless of their abilities, while improving the quality of life; and foster diversity awareness, compassion and acceptance.
The CSC Foundation is currently raising money to build a Sensory Garden and a Shade Structure in the existing playground. The Sensory Garden is designed specifically for children with sensory disabilities, especially those on the autism spectrum. It will provide therapeutic benefits for these children as well as a fun place to play. The Sensory Garden will include:
* A sensory garden with aromatic plants, bushes and plants
* A musical pathway, producing auditory stimuli
* Several interactive water features (floating granite water sphere and a raised interactive simulated tide pool)
In addition, children with sensory disabilities are often on medications that make them sensitive to the sun. It is really important that shade areas are provided for them to enhance their play experience.