A few years ago, Andrea Halbig saw a need. The need for a playground on Evansville's west side, where she grew up and ran a business, that featured equipment kids of all abilities, including those in wheelchairs and those who require the assistance of other mobility equipment due to physical limitations, could enjoy and just be kids for a little bit. Her observation led to the idea of Stoplight City. An all-inclusive play space with structures modeled after various forms of transportation, including an airplane, a fire truck, a school bus, and more.

Work on the playground, located on an empty lot four blocks south of Franklin Street at the intersection of 11th Avenue and West Indiana Street, has happened in spurts, with equipment being installed as Andrea acquires the funds to purchase it and pay for the installation. The aforementioned airplane, fire truck, and school bus are on site now, along with a swing. All of which are open for kids to play on.

Plans for additional equipment include police, construction, and helicopter-themed pieces, but like everything else in life, it takes money to make those things happen. Lots of it. The total cost for purchase and installation of eight pieces Andrea is looking to make part of the playground is $250,000. The cost for the purchase and installation of the existing pieces was $228,000.

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), to see her dream through to completion, Andrea needs your help. She's partnered with children's book author, Dr. Nicole Julia, to give you an opportunity to provide that help and get a new children's book for you and your kids to enjoy together.

Gary's Gigantic Dream tells the story of "a young giraffe who gets evaluated for his very first wheelchair. Upon receiving his chair, Gary discovers newfound independence, zest for life, and a gigantic dream of his own," according to Dr. Nicole's website. When we interviewed both Andrea and Dr. Nicole earlier this week, Dr. Nicole said the book is the first of a series called "The Able Fables" that will star Gary as he shares the stories of other characters with disabilities.

The book is available now through The Able Fables website for $20 with 20% of all purchases between now and September 30th, 2020 being donated to Stoplight City Playground.

Andrea has set a goal of selling 5,000 copies of the book with the hope that even if you don't need one for your personal collection, you'll purchase one to donate to your local school or library for their collection. Having been born and raised in the Tri-State, and seeing first hand the willingness we have to support local non-profits, and projects geared towards children, I have no doubt we can not only meet Andrea's goal, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we surpassed it. Tap the button below to buy your copy now.

To follow along with the progress of Stoplight City, like their page on Facebook.

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