Honoring champions of inclusive play

On Saturday, March 8, Shane’s Inspiration held its annual Gala Celebration at the Beverly Hills Hotel Crystal Ballroom. Themed An Evening of Motown, attendees came together to help raise funds for Shane’s Inspiration and their inclusion programming in addition to celebrating three amazing champions of inclusive play.

Shane's Inspiration's Annual Gala celebrated champions of inclusive play.

Former Vice President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno was presented with the Inspiration Award for his work in advancing social inclusion and bringing the first inclusive playground to Ecuador. The 8,880 square-foot inclusive playground, which opened on Nov. 22, 2013, features playground equipment specifically designed to promote integration among children of all abilities.

Additionally, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Discover a Star Foundation received the Community Leadership Award for its work of providing financial assistance to neighboring nonprofits linked to children’s causes and homeless intervention, and Richard D. Kessler was honored with the Humanitarian Award for his strong community involvement and support of Shane’s Inspiration.

Congratulations to all of these champions of inclusive play! Learn more about Shane’s Inspiration, their social inclusion programming and lots more by visiting shanesinspiration.org.

Inclusion in Ecuador

Cuenca, Ecuador, is home to the first inclusive playground in the entire country!

As we mentioned last month, our partnership with Shane’s Inspiration helped us bring the first inclusive playground to Ecuador! On Friday, Nov. 22, Paúl Granda López, Mayor of Cuenca, our president, Pat Faust, and the team from Shane’s Inspiration celebrated the grand opening of the 8,880 square-foot inclusive playground. The event welcomed more than 200 children of all abilities, many who were experiencing swinging and playgrounds for the very first time in their lives!

Former Vice President Lenin Moreno, an extraordinary champion for the rights of people with disabilities, initiated the concept of the inclusive playground, inspired by his own personal journey as a paraplegic and his discovery of the healing power of laughter and play therapy.

Read more about the inclusive playground in Cuenca as well as the social inclusion workshop that Shane’s Inspiration held for more than 80 university students majoring in special education.

Laying the foundation for change

Kids in Cuenca, Ecuador, point out what they're most excited for in the inclusive playground.

Our partnership with Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities, has allowed us to positively impact many children, families and entire communities. And we’re excited to say that our partnership is helping bring inclusive play to Ecuador! In a matter of weeks, the Municipality of Cuenca will open its first inclusive playground (the first in the entire country!), which will help promote integration among children of all abilities.

Learn more about the project and see a few in-progress photos from our friends at Shane’s Inspiration.