Elmira Independent editorial
This week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting featured some extremely touching moments, as councillors were able to watch a short video featuring Kate Meissner.
Kate is the namesake of the Kate’s Kause charity, a charity that, by now, most of us recognize.
Kate’s Kause, through sponsorships, online voting competitions, donations, and sheer grit and determination on the part of Kate’s mother, Kelly, raised $300,000 to make Kate’s Place for Everyone, a fully accessible playground for Elmira.
This amazing playground — which is nearly always filled with munchkins and their parents — has been created in two short years, and is an amazing testimony to what can be accomplished, when there is enough passion to make it happen.
The video shown at this week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting reminded us of why Kelly Meissner has that passion.
Kate, a bubbly, beautiful three-year-old girl is still unable to walk or talk, but can navigate her way to the top of the roller slide — and, more importantly, down the roller slide — without any extra help from her parents.
This may seem like nothing special, but it means the world to the Meissners. For other parents who have children with similar challenges, the playground is a safe place for their children to try, to do, to learn, without fear of failure. And, when they have success, it is an amazing thing.
What is even more special about this playground, however, is that it will do so much to educate the children (and their parents) of this community that being different is not necessarily a bad thing, and that every person has immense value, just as he or she is.
In Elmira, seeing able-bodied children playing alongside those with disabilities is something that rarely happened before this magical summer.
From now on, however, that kind of intermingling is going to happen, giving children everywhere an equality they didn’t know they possessed.
We are excited to see what will happen as Kate’s Place for Everyone continues to grow. A sensory wall, along with some outdoor exercise features for seniors, will do much to make this truly a playground that anyone and everyone can enjoy — including Kate, who was the inspiration for all of this in the first place.