Playground vandalism

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's disheartening to hear stories of local vandalism. For all the good things that happen in our communities, there are some, unfortunately, who have little regard for others' property.

An example of this happened recently at Cape County Park North when Melaina's Magical Playland, a handicapped-accessible playground, had several pieces of expensive equipment damaged by vandals.

Founded by Jeff and Andrea Cunningham, a couple whose daughter Melaina died from a neuromuscular disorder, the playground has been embraced by many in this community. Thousands of dollars in supplies and in-kind support has been donated to the effort, and the playground was scheduled to open in the fall.

According to Andrea Cunningham, the damage does not look to be significant in terms of costs. However, with the organization still looking to raise about $165,000 before the opening, the additional cost of repairing the damage does not help.

Cunningham said security measures, both public and private, are being implemented. One local businessman has offered to provide security cameras. Lighting is also being added. Hopefully these measures will deter any future vandalism.

Damaging someone's property, particularly a facility meant to benefit those with disabilities, is a disgusting crime. Nevertheless, we're confident the community will continue to support the project.

On Aug. 10 a benefit golf tournament will be held at Kimbeland Country Club in Jackson. We hope you consider participating.

For more information on the playground, call 573-986-9155 or visit www.magicalplayland.org. You may also send donations by mail to:

Melaina Cunningham and Friends Park Fund Inc.

P.O. Box 211

Cape Girardeau, MO 63702

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