By Grace Brasil, Hands4Hope Youth Board Vice President
The Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Youth Board is excited to announce the beneficiary of their 20021/22 Youth Board service project will be Walk with Austin. After researching two impressive agencies benefiting children with challenges, the Youth Board chose Walk with Austin in order to provide more opportunities for disabled children in the local area by helping raise funds to build an All-Abilities Playground off of Bass Lake Road. The first opportunity to help support fundraising efforts will be the Carriage Rides in the El Dorado Hills Town Center the first three Saturdays in December. The Hands4Hope Youth Board will be selling Carriage Ride tickets from 5:00-9:00pm in lower Theater Plaza, outside of Cold Stone Creamery, December 4th, 11th, and 18th and proceeds from these will benefit Walk with Austin and the Hands4Hope Education Program. It is a great way to kick off the holiday season with a magical ride through El Dorado Hills Town Center with your family or a significant other. Prices range from $15 for two to $30 for a group of six.
The Hands4Hope Youth Board began their service project investigative process in September for their 2021/2022 project. They researched different organizations within the need areas they were most interested in helping, including children with disabilities and children with chronic illness. Through their research, the Youth Board decided on two organizations they wanted to support and invited representatives to speak at a meeting to ensure that they fit the designated criteria and to learn more about them. The organizations selected were Walk with Austin and Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. Holly Reininger, the founder of Walk with Austin, came in and spoke with our Youth Board, while a group of five employees came to speak from Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. Although very impressed with both presentations, the Youth Board ultimately decided to choose Walk with Austin for their 2021/22 Fundraising Project, in order to benefit more disabled children in the local area.
Walk with Austin is a fairly new non-profit created by Holly Reininger to benefit children with disabilities including her own son Austin. Holly’s goal is to create a park at Bass Lake in El Dorado Hills that will be accessible for all. There are no current parks that meet the needs of children with disabilities in our area and this park would fill that void. Mothers like Holly are forced to travel as far as the Bay Area in order to find a park that has accessibility, and sadly most are still not truly all inclusive. The Hands4Hope Youth Board is looking forward to working with Walk with Austin to support this important project.
“This will be a pivotal year for us in fundraising for the ALL-ABILITIES playground as the El Dorado Hill Community Service District hopes to break ground at Bass Lake in late 2022. We’ve currently raised $80K and have a goal of $250K to supplement the CSD’s existing traditional playground budget. We are thrilled that the Hands4Hope Youth Board has chosen to support Walk with Austin for their 2021/2022 project,” said Holly Reininger, Founder of Walk with Austin
The Youth Board chose Walk with Austin because we believe that it could directly impact so many kids in our community. Not only that, but because a unique park that is truly accessible for all children doesn’t exist yet anywhere near El Dorado Hills, the playground could have an even wider reach.