Cape Girardeau Noon Optimist Club make huge donation to make accessible playground possible

Cape Girardeau Noon Optimist Club in Missouri donated $100,000 for a new accessible playground in their area.

They approved the money to go toward Melaina’s Magical Playground. The money was raised through the club’s participation in Friday Night Optimist Bingo at Bingo World.

Named in memory of Melaina Cunningham, a 3-year-old who died of complications from pneumonia earlier this year, the playground will have equipment for people of all ages and abilities at Cape County Park North. Other features may include handicapped parking spaces and all-accessible restrooms.

Andrea Cunningham, Melaina’s mother, who has been a driving force behind the project, said she was moved by the club’s donation and said she thinks it will go a long way in making the playground a reality.

The Cape Girardeau County Commission also approved funding for the playground during its Nov. 21 meeting.

The donations leave playground supporters about $250,000 short of their goal. Equipment will cost between $225,000 and $250,000, labor between $50,000 and $100,000 and a special, soft playground surface about $150,000.

Way to go Andrea! Thank you to the Optimist Club and the County Commission who see the value in having all kids play together.

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