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State Honoree

Drew Kingseed

Indiana

Drew Kingseed, 15, of Kokomo, Ind., a freshman at Kokomo High School, led an effort to design, finance and build a handicapped-accessible park in his town for special-needs children and their families. When Drew, who is handicapped himself, was asked last spring to head up a committee to plan and build a special park, he embraced the opportunity. “Since I’m in a wheelchair myself and have never had the chance to really play in a park before, I thought I could make sure other kids don’t miss out on that opportunity.” Drew attended planning meetings with community and school officials to create design plans and select equipment. He then wrote and gave presentations to civic, church and school groups, appeared on radio talk shows, and raised money by selling address books and collecting donations at football games. Finally, when the project was completed, Drew cut the dedication ribbon to officially open the new park. Drew hopes this park “will benefit and impact the lives of handicapped children and their families for many wonderful years to come because now these children can do what other kids do everyday, ” he said. “Playing at the park seems like such a small thing, but when you have to sit in a wheelchair and watch other kids do it, it’s a really big thing.”