Woman needs your vote for Special Needs Play Park - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Woman needs your vote for Special Needs Play Park

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

LEESBURG,  GA (WALB) – Every month the Pepsi Refresh Project is giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to people and organizations across the country in support of their ideas that will have a positive impact. Well, a very special Lee county woman is in the running this October to win $50,000 in an online contest for her idea to build a special needs play park.

Her eight-year-old son is a special needs child with multiple disabilities and she says he needs a swing. Traci Henry is asking everyone to take a few minutes to vote everyday online and on their phones through text messages. Right now her idea is in 35th place. It has to be in the top 10 by midnight on October 31st to win.

She's doing everything she can to spread the word and says her son Chance is her inspiration in life and for this idea.

Eight year old Chance Henry can't speak. He has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. But his mother Traci Henry knows he's happiest outdoors on a beautiful fall day.

"He loves to go outside," she says.

But that isn't always possible because in Southwest Georgia there isn't a play park made specifically for special needs children like Chance. A reality that breaks a mother's heart.

"You're going to make me cry. Well, this swing is perfect for me, Chance can't swing on it though," she says sitting on a swing at Leesburg's central park.

At Chehaw Park there is one handicap swing, but that's it. Traci wants to change that. She wants to win this month's Pepsi Refresh Grant and build a $50,000 park in Lee county for disabled kids.

"My goal is to have something twice the size of Leesburg's park but also have handicap swings in all three play areas in Lee county," says Henry.

And she already has her Mayor's support.

"He needs a swing, Chance needs a swing," says Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn.

Traci started a playgroup for special needs kids and their parents back in January called Butterfly Kisses. Right now 70 families take part. She's hoping if the new playground is built it will raise more awareness and draw in more families in their situation.

"From what I understand the fastest growing part of the school population is handicap and special needs children," said Mayor Quinn.

"I'm very excited. But it's stressful. I need support," said Henry.

Now, A billboard towers over Slappey Blvd. reminding drivers to vote.

"Text to vote, from every cell phone you can get your hands on. Vote three ways everyday," she says. You can also vote via facebook or directly on the Pepsi Refresh website.

To text from your mobile phone text 103013 to Pepsi (73774).

To visit the Pepsi Refresh Website with a link directly to Traci Henry's idea, click below.


Voting ends October 31st at midnight.

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