Melaina's Magical Playland, a handicapped-accessible playground that broke ground at Cape County Park North in March, was vandalized over the weekend.
Slides, construction materials, safety panels and musical chimes were damaged, said Andrea Cunningham, playground co-founder. She said she was not sure the equipment could be repaired. Because it is custom-made to accommodate children and adults of all physical abilities, replacements cannot quickly be supplied, she said. Value estimates of the damage have not been made.
Cunningham and her husband were inspired to build the playground after their daughter, Melaina, died of nemaline myopathy, a neuromuscular disorder that prevented her from accessing most play areas. The playground had been slated to open early fall, but the vandalism may delay that because funds intended for completing the project may need to go to fixing the damages.
"Something like this will obviously set us back," Cunningham said.
Melaina's Magical Playland is holding a golf tournament Aug. 10 at Kimbeland Country Club in Jackson. The not-for-profit organization the Cunninghams founded was also selected to receive proceeds from Saturday's Friedheim Fun Fest at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim, Mo.
For more information on Melaina's Magical Playland, call 573-986-9155 or visit www.magicalplayland.org.
Cape County Park North, Cape Girardeau, MO