Melaina's magic

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good ideas tend to attract good support. That was the case last month when the Cape Girardeau Noon Optimist Club approved a $100,000 commitment -- the largest in the club's history -- to Melaina's Magical Playground, an all-accessible playground to be built in Cape County Park North, once enough donations are received. The estimated cost of the playground is $500,000.

Late last year, the Cape Girardeau County Commission endorsed the park concept and earmarked $150,000 for the project. The Optimist club's pledge, to be derived from Friday Night Optimist Bingo at Bingo World over the next few years, brings the project closer to its goal.

The playground is named for Melaina Cunningham, a 3-year-old who died of complications from pneumonia last year. Her mother, Andrea Cunningham, is heading the drive to raise the money for the park that would have special equipment and surfaces for children with special needs.

At programs being scheduled, civic clubs and other organizations will be asked to join in supporting this one-of-a-kind project. For the Optimist club, this project fits with its goal of "Bringing Out the Best in Kids." The club already sponsors other youth-related activities in the community. Hats off to the Noon Optimist Club for backing this worthwhile effort.

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