Ground broken for ‘unique’ playground

By Jonna Spelbring Priester
General Manager – Henry County Local

On the one year anniversary of his death, many said Michael Brent surely would be smiling down upon the scene April 17 in the new Henry County Park.

It was there that four shovels pierced the grassy ground in a ceremonial gesture for what will, one day, be a very unique playground.

The playground will be one that all children, those who are able bodied and those who are not, will be able to enjoy.

“I know Michael is smiling down right now,” Henry County Judge Executive John Logan Brent said. “He’s got to be pleased.”

A playground, he said, is an integral part of any park.

“If you’re going to have a park you’ve got to have a playground, right,” he said.

But the cost of playground equipment is high, Brent said. Enter Friends for Michael and its president, Cindy Norton.

“This playground is going to be unique,” she said, saying that where there is a piece of playground equipment for an able bodied child, there would also be a piece of equipment for a disabled child.

The concept was something Norton said she talked about frequently with Michael Brent.

“But we never dreamed we wouldn’t be able to do it together,” she said during the ground breaking ceremony.

Most importantly, Norton said she wanted the project to be a county wide effort, not just a Friends for Michael venture.

Next year, at around the same time, Norton said she hopes to be at the park again. Only then, Norton said, she hopes to be cutting a ribbon.

Norton said later she’s working on getting special playground equipment for the park.

During the ceremony, John Logan Brent presented Norton with a $10,000 check from the Henry County Fiscal Court as well as a $2,000 check from Arvin Sango, and Cedar Lake Lodge President Jim Richardson presented a check for $5,000; all for the playground’s development.

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