This Saturday, May 15, Clouds of Hope brings a FREE Family FunFest to Temple Terrace. Clouds of Hope is a non-profit organization working to build a universally designed playground where children of all abilities can play together at Riverhills Park in Temple Terrace.
The fun starts at 3 p.m. at the Ridgedale Sports Complex, with bounce houses for the kids, hands on activities provided by MOSI, a special appearance by Radio Disney, face painting, balloon animals, and crafts and other activities. Entertainment includes a magic show and the highly anticipated softball game featuring the Temple Terrace Police Department versus the Temple Terrace Fire Department.
In addition to the free activities, food vendors will be on site, plus an outdoor market featuring 25 vendors will be open. A raffle and silent auction will also be held to support Clouds of Hope’s fundraising efforts.
Proceeds from these sales benefit Clouds of Hope, which was established in 2008 by Renee Blain. Her youngest daughter, Allie, is now 7 and cannot play on traditional playgrounds because of a chronic blood disorder. Their personal experience has inspired their tremendous efforts to provide a place for all children to come together to play in Temple Terrace.
“As a mom of a child with special needs, it became clear to us that there is a disparity,” says Blain, who is also mom to Abbie, 9. “I could take my two daughters to a park, but they couldn’t play together. We have 12 parks in Temple Terrace and none where Allie can play safely.”
A universally designed playground allows children of all abilities to play together, and also provides a place for parents or other adults with disabilities to play with their children. For example, a mom in a wheelchair can’t roll through the sand to push a swing, but the design for the Riverhills playground allows anyone to reach the swings and all playground equipment.
With funds already committed to the playground by the City of Temple Terrace and the School Board of Hillsborough County, Clouds of Hope continues to raise money to reach its goal of $110,000, the total amount needed to build the playground.
“We have raised $70,000 so far,” says Blain. “Although we could start in phases, we’re so close to our goal that we are continuing to work toward raising the full amount. As soon as we finish raising the money, installation of the park will begin.”
Glow in the dark golf
The day will conclude with a “glow in the dark” golf tournament. A few spots for two-person teams (adults or adult-child teams, ages 5 and up) are still available. Team registration cost $65 and can be completed online.