8-year-old has a starring role in Park fundraiser

Colson Tabbert is somewhat of a local celebrity.

He was hard to miss on a hot summer day as he rolled up to the inclusive playground at South Park wearing bright orange sun glasses and displaying a confident grin. Like an entourage, his sisters and dad followed behind him.

Pictured: in foreground, Colson Tabbert (age 8), and behind him, left to right, his sisters Cayleigh (age 5) and Caroline (age 1) with their dad, Nick.

"It's awesome," the 8-year-old proclaims, admiring the playground.

For the past several years, Colson has taken center stage during events promoting the Inclusive Park fundraising campaign.

Inclusive Park is the first fully accessible playground in Oshkosh featuring a rubberized surface and wide ramps for easy access by people on foot, wheelchairs, strollers or walkers.

The playground's construction in spring 2015 was the result of four years of planning and fundraising by the Inclusive Park Project Committee.


"IT'S REALLY A PARK FOR EVERYONE – PEOPLE WITH WALKERS, STROLLERS, SENIOR CITIZENS – EVEN MY TODDLER APPRECIATES NOT HAVING TO WALK ON WOOD CHIPS." - Jennifer Tabbert, Inclusive Park Project Committee member and Colson's mom



The broad-based community support included grants from the Foundation, Community First Credit Union and the John E. Kuenzl Foundation, as well as gifts from individuals, businesses and even Colson's classmates. Construction was completed in June.

"Now we can play different games, and we can go on different equipment," says Colson. "Some of my friends go to the top of the (play structure), and I can do that too."

That type of freedom for her son, who suffers from a condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, which affects only Colson's mobility, is priceless, says his mom, Jennifer Tabbert.

"He would just watch his sisters play up on the equipment. It was like, OK, do I disappoint Colson and go to the playground today? I don't think that's a fair choice a mother should have to make," Tabbert says.

"Now I can go to the park and make all of my children happy. Colson doesn't get stuck in the wood chips and he doesn't have to be disappointed."

Support the Inclusive Park project with a gift to Oshkosh Inclusive Park Fund

 

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