Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Community raising thousands for playground

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The Gladeville community is one step closer to building a playground in memory of one special little boy.

Raelee Parris, 3, unexpectedly passed away in December 2015. His mother, Heather Parris, explained that Raelee had a febrile seizure in his sleep. She hopes his legacy will live on through the project.

A fund-raiser was held at the Gladeville Community Center on Saturday night to meet their goal of $150,000 for Phase 1 of the playground.

Heather said prior to the fund-raiser, which included dinner, dessert, live music and a silent auction, they had raised $80,000.

"Tonight is getting us closer to the playground. We have it in a couple of phases," she said. "It will be $125,000 to $150,000 for Phase 1. A lot of that is the flooring. It will be handicap accessible, sensory friendly - and for every kid."

Heather said they went the extra mile in planning to make sure that all children could utilize the playground. "I want every kid that drives by to be able to use the playground. I couldn't have that on my heart, with my son's name on it," she added.

Phase 2 will be adding a handicap-accessible liberty swing - which is another $50,000.

The dinner and auction was packed on Saturday. At least 250 folks showed up to support the project.

The community playground will be located at 95 McCrary in Gladeville, next to the center.

For more information or to donate visit or follow them on Facebook.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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