Published in the February 21 – March 6, 2018 issue of Gilroy Life
A visit to the opening ceremony of Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge playground April 18, 2015, provided Ron and Shirlee Locicero a dream to create the same for their beloved community of Morgan Hill. Their enthusiasm to provide play opportunities for families of all abilities and disabilities ultimately sparked a very exciting partnership between Magical Bridge Foundation and the city of Morgan Hill.
Spearheaded by Chris Ghione, community services director with a commitment of $2 million from the city of Morgan Hill, the Magical Bridge Foundation helped secure an additional $2 million from the Santa Clara County All Inclusive Playground Grant.
Santa Clara County Supervisor of District 1, Mike Wasserman, thrilled this community when he allocated his district’s entire amount toward Morgan Hill. With his leadership and the full $2 million match, we are one giant leap closer to fully funding Magical Bridge Playground in Morgan Hill’s Community Park.
Magical Bridge Playground in Morgan Hill is the fourth playground project for the Magical Bridge Foundation. Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge opened to the public in April 2015 and continues to be heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground, welcoming visitors of all abilities, disabilities, and ages. In fact, Palo Alto sees more than 20,000 visitors every month, which often include those with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, hearing and visual impairments, and even the aging population. Stemming from kindness and compassion, everyone plays at Magical Bridge. We can’t wait to create this new community space for Morgan Hill.
The need to have a playground that serves an entire family could not be greater than it is today. With one in every five of us living with either a visible or invisible disability, the time has come to create welcoming play spaces for all. Magical Bridge Foundation has succeeded in its outreach efforts here, in large part, thanks to several very magical community members. Anna Gervacio, Cathy Rudolph, Tanaya Rose and Debbie Hernandez quickly mobilized friends and neighbors to advance the awareness and fundraising efforts for the project right away. Between Cathy generously hosting the Harvest Festival at her beautiful Milagro Vineyard, to the creation of personal fundraising pages, these four women have collectively raised more than $40,000 and continue to advocate for the project’s success. These woman, and many others who call Morgan Hill their home, are such natural Kindness Ambassadors — not only for this new playground, but for the community at large.
Leave a lasting legacy to Morgan Hill. With less than $1 million remaining to raise, we invite community groups, local businesses, foundations, and individuals to help cross the finish line. Join the city of Morgan Hill, Santa Clara County supervisors, Acton Family Giving, Junior League of San Jose, CSR, and Walmart Foundation in making this project a reality for everyone living in, or visiting, this great community. We are so close, and need support, at any level, to give everyone in the South Valley an opportunity a place to play.
Donations can be made online at www.magicalbridge.org/morgan-hill or send a check to Magical Bridge Foundation, 650 Gilman St., Palo Alto, CA 94301. Tax deductible donations of $300 and more will be recognized with a tile on the new donor wall.
Jill Asher is the co-founder of Magical Bridge Foundation and part of the founding team of Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto. She leads community engagement, public relations and digital media strategy for Magical Bridge Foundation. She actively engages with communities to promote inclusive play and kindness through a full spectrum of communications and fundraising programs and is instrumental in promoting the values and principles of Magical Bridge to the media and the global community. She can be reached at [email protected]