The driving force for building Amelia Grace Place was Amelia’s mother. A few days after Amelia’s untimely death at the age of 10, Julie began planning a playground in her memory. Amelia had Angelman’s Syndrome and couldn’t walk on her own or talk, but she would squeal with glee whenever she was swinging. She would wave her arms and radiate such happiness that anyone watching her could not help but smile. She had special swings at her house, but whenever she went to a playground with her brother and sister, there was nothing for her to do once she outgrew the baby swings. Julie wanted other special needs children to have a place that would make them smile like Amelia smiled.
Julie was (and still is) tireless in her efforts to pay for the playground. She has inspired many fundraisers such as a cub scout car wash, karate kick-a-thon (where Amelia’s brother Nate kicked the longest), local restaurant nights (one with girl scouts as waitresses), the Parent Teacher’s Organization. and a local musical group that includes Amelia’s maternal grandfather. Julie and a friend donate all the proceeds from running a snack shop at a local golf course on weekends to the playground. The playground has also been supported by many generous individual contributors. In addition to making the largest single contribution to the playground, in order to complete the playground in a timely manner, Julie and her husband, Scott,loaned the Amelia Grace Playground Fund, Inc. a very substantial amount of money.
Amelia’s paternal grandfather spent many hours qualifying the Amelia Grace Playground Fund, Inc as a tax-exempt “public charity” under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, so contributions may be fully tax deductible. Her paternal grandmother created a website for the playground – AmeliaGracePlace.com.
Written by Amelia’s paternal grandmother