By FRED SWEGLES, Orange County Register
Efforts to add a sensory garden and other interactive features to a universal-access playground in San Clemente are $371 closer, thanks to the “flour power” of children in Dana Point.
The girls raised the money by selling baked goods, and they plan to sell more Oct. 13-14 during the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation‘s four-day carnival at San Clemente’s Vista Hermosa Sports Park. The girls will be at a carnival booth for the playground, called Courtney’s SandCastle, volunteer Don Glasgow said.
“There are 12 kids in the club,” he said. “They can’t wait to get there.”
Last week the girls visited Courtney’s SandCastle, which opened Feb. 25 as part of the new sports park, and met Courtney Faye Smith, the 15-year-old namesake for the playground.
Courtney’s SandCastle is designed so that children with disabilities can play alongside kids who don’t have disabilities. Smith, who has spinal muscular atrophy, was 4 when friends and family came up with the idea for the playground. It took more than a decade of site selection, fundraising and working with the city to see the project to fruition.
The Dana Point girls presented their donation to Smith for the foundation, which is raising money for Phase 2 work at the playground.
Carol Lundgren, whose daughter Jill is part of the group, said the girls learned a few months ago about Avery Canahuati, a 5-month-old Texas girl who died of complications from spinal muscular atrophy. The child’s parents created a blog titled “Avery’s Bucket List,” things the infant would like to accomplish in a short life span.
The girls started a charity group called The Flour Children, “where they sell baked goods to raise money for different children’s charities,” Lundgren said.
Lundgren sent a message to Glasgow saying the club’s motto is “We use flour to give kids power!” The girls learned about Courtney’s SandCastle and picked it as a cause to take on.
Glasgow said he was touched by the girls’ donation. “While not a ton of money as compared to a $25,000 grant check I received nearly the same day from the McBeth Foundation in Lake Forest, it is a lot of money when you think about who did it,” he said.