Leyden Alumni Leydenettes were discussing the idea of reuniting with other Leydenette’s and dancing together again for fun. The Leydenettes recognize the importance of helping other children, supporting other women. They wanted to tie this fun dance event to a greater cause and give back to the Leyden community.
Anthony Alfano, an 8-year-old Melrose Park boy, was the inspiration behind this desire. Anthony has cerebral palsy and is wheel chair bound, which means it is difficult for Anthony to enjoy some of the simple things most kids do at the park, like getting on a swing. The reality is there are very few places around the Chicagoland area that offer a swing for special needs children that are wheel chair bound. Alumni Leydenette Moms believe that Anthony and every child with special needs should have the opportunity to enjoy a swing, so they are raising funds to place a wheel chair swing in the Leyden community.Needing a place to make this dream a reality, The Leydenettes contacted Veterans Park District. Veterans Park District, located in five communities; Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Grove and Unincorporated Leyden Township, is committed to enhancing the quality of life of its residents by offering the best in recreational and leisure services. Veterans Park District’s Special Recreation Department has been providing year-round recreation and leisure activities for individuals of all ages with special needs, including Anthony Alfano, for over 20 years. Also, all programs at the park district are inclusive and when requested, a special needs participant is provided with a 1-on1 aide to assist him or her in participation in a non-special recreation program.
Over the course of the next several months, the Leyden Alumni, the Alfano Family and other community stakeholders will be working with Veterans Park District to raise funds for the wheel chair swing. The cost of the project is estimated to total over $60,000. We would like to raise half the cost of the project ($30,000) and Veterans Park District will match our contribution to complete the project.
As a mom of a 3 year old girl who's favorite thing to do at the park is get on the swings, creating this opportunity for Anthony and all children in the Leyden community is very special and very necessary. It really does take a village to raise a child and we believe that as a community, we need to provide the Alfanos and the other amazing families with the same opportunities our children have.
Join Us & Swing Into Kindness!