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Seven Year Dream Becomes Reality: Gabe’s All-Inclusive Play Village

Ribbon CuttinG & Dedication: Gabe’s all-inclusive play village

On Thursday, October 8, Gloria Cypret and Gabe’s Dream Team cut the ribbon on a vision that has been seven years in the making.  Gabe’s Play Village is a new all-inclusive playground located at Vander Veer Botanical Park that will be an environment where children of all abilities can play together. The new park includes ramps for wheelchairs and sensory materials to give kids of all abilities a welcoming space to interact. This is Davenport’s first universally accessible playground and will support the 2,000 children with special needs in the Davenport Community School District alone who are unable to utilize traditional playground equipment.

Giving back is ingrained within our corporate values at Russell, and a trait we encourage of our employees to make our community a better place to work, play and live. Russell is proud to have contributed to Gabe’s Play Village with a $50,000 donation that was raised through the proceeds of our annual charity golf outing in 2018. Over the course of 32 years, the Russell Golf Outing has raised over half a million dollars for local charities. Only twice in it’s history has it raised $50,000 with one of those being for Gabe’s All-Inclusive Play Village.

“Why did this particular cause raise so much money?  It’s simple – it strikes a chord with so many of us.  Whether as a parent, a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or even as an unrelated onlooker– we have all seen the child on the playground who tries to ‘join in’ only to be turned away by another youngster.  It breaks your heart.  We want our loved ones to feel welcomed, to ‘fit in’.  As a disabled child, this barrier of entry is higher, tougher.  Try to imagine it.  From the perspective of a child.  Try to imagine it from the perspective of a mom or grandma.  Watching your child on the sidelines.  Wanting to join in.  Wanting to just “fit in”.  But unable to do so.  Ugh – it makes your heart literally ache,” D’Dree Leibold of Russell spoke at the dedication.

Thank you, Gabe and Gloria, for inspiring us at Russell to play a role in making this seven-year dream a reality for all children of all abilities in our community.

Follow the links below for more information:

KWQC: Gabe’s All-Inclusive Play Village Becomes Reality Seven Years Later

The Quad-City Times: Through Grandma’s Perseverance, Gabe’s All-Inclusive Play Village in Davenport is a Reality

The Quad-City Times: Dedication Ceremony for Gabe’s Play Village

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Check Presentation of $50,000 from our 30th Annual Charity Golf Outing in 2018 for Gabe's All-Inclusive Play Village