Her eyes sparkle; her smile enchanting, her laugh infectious, her spirit captivating. So charming is little eight year old Nola that she lights up the outdoors even at the brightest time of the day. Says Dr. Iris Pachler “… a charming person is able to find peace and strength from within and also have the ability to be accepting no matter the situation”
Nola has spastic triplegic cerebral palsy and suffers from seizure disorder. Most babies with that challenge at birth don’t survive but, according to her mother, Kelli Flock Byrne, “… Nola is actually a pretty incredible miracle of a kid. Somehow she managed to persevere and survive and she has not stopped persevering since! She is one of the most determined kids ever and her therapists, doctors, dance teachers, swim instructors all say the same thing.”
Added Kelli, daughter of Mike and Kathi Flock of Middleburg, “Most parents take for granted that their children will be able to run and play everywhere they go. Her dad, Shawn, and I can’t do that. We have to pre plan and map things out to make sure Nola will be able to participate in an activity. Often, we are unable to take her places because they just aren’t accessible. It’s difficult for her to watch other kids play while she has to sit out. Everyone’s Playground puts children on an even playing field. Differences in ability fade away for a bit, and they can just be kids.”
As we approach the end of the year, Members of the Andy and Cindy Russell Charitable Foundation, Susquehanna Valley Region Advisory Council, are asking each of you to consider a tax deductible contribution to help support Everyone’s Playground and the current Comfort/Changing Station fund drive so kids like Nola and their caregivers have a safe, sanitary, ADA compliant, specifically designed, rest room facility, equipped for those with special needs, physical disabilities and other cognitive challenges.
“Everyone’s Playground is the epitome of an all inclusive safe play space recreation area for kids like Nola” said Kelli. “Literally, from the ground up, it is designed to make sure that individuals of all abilities can play and be active. The smooth surfacing, adaptive equipment, and bright colors provide a physical and sensory experience that is typically inaccessible to children like our Nola.”
“My parents, Mike and Kathi Flock, my husband Shawn and I, urge each of you receiving this message to please consider a financial contribution to help support Everyone’s Playground and the value it brings to this community and especially kids like our Nola.”
Please make checks out to: RUSSELL FOUNDATION/EVERYONE’S PLAYGROUND and mail to the address below. Or, visit our website and donate through our GoFundMe account. For further information please call 570-428-5411. Nola says “Thank You!”