Arvest associates recently presented a $10,000 donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to Children United Southwest Oklahoma to assist in building an all-inclusive playground at Elmer Thomas Park in Lawton, Okla.

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The nonprofit held a groundbreaking ceremony in May to officially kickoff construction of the Children United Playground, which will feature equipment accessible to all children regardless of their disability.

Arvest associates Chris Toomey, Mortgage Loan Manager; Nicki Jansen, Mortgage Lender; and Angela Spradlin, Business Banking Manager presented the check to organization members Jeanette Klein, Bo Cole, Reedy Daly, Lorie Canada and Wendy Rogers.

“The Children United committee is so grateful for the $10,000 grant,” said Klein. “This money has assisted with the purchase of all the rebar needed for the playground project. The Arvest Foundation has been very supportive. Words can’t express how much we appreciate everything they have done for us.”

Children United Southwest Oklahoma began as a community project in 2018 when the late Joe Chesko came up with the idea for an all-inclusive playground after seeing a child sitting in a wheelchair who couldn’t play on the playground. What started as a project to place two wheelchair swings and a merry-go-round has now become the Children United Playground.

“We are thrilled to be able to support Children United and their vision to construct an all-inclusive playground,” said Jansen. “This shows what can happen when a community rallies behind one man’s vision.”