The Easterseals New York community came together for a very special event on Wednesday, September 6th – the Grand Opening Celebration of the New Kessler Center Playground.
The playground has been years in planning. Thanks to the generous contributions of Dennis Kessler, local partners, new donors, staff, and supporters from across the Easterseals New York family, $100,000 was raised in what was largely a word of mouth campaign.
A spirit of joy and gratitude pervaded the event. Under sunny skies Kessler students, thrilled to be outside, played on the new swings, slides, domes, jungle gym and other equipment. Music played as staff, families and Easterseals supporters greeted each other and posed for pictures.
The playground is indeed great news for Kessler students and families. Not only will it serve as a wonderful recreational outlet for our students, but the exercise and sensory experiences it provides play an important therapeutic role in their health and development. Students can now engage in outdoor activities on a regular basis as part of the regular school day. The playground allows students to play and learn in a safe environment and is an important new resource that goes beyond what the school has been able to offer in the past.
Kris Lofgren, a parent of a Kessler student, spoke movingly of what the Kessler Center has meant to her family. She praised the “unbelievable” care her son receives from staff and described her family as forever grateful for having found the Kessler Center. “Our family can breathe again because of the Kessler Center. The care he is getting is a real game changer,” she said.
Dennis and Larry Kessler, the school’s founders, shared in the joy of having accomplished something great for the students. In brief remarks, Dennis Kessler and Don Harreld, Senior VP of Education for the Fedcap Group, humbly thanks supporters who made this special day possible.