TOMS RIVER, N.J. — A New Jersey father’sfor people with special needs has finally come true.
The Toms River Field of Dreams, designed to serve people of all ages and abilities, officially opens to the public on Saturday, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
From the playground to the basketball court, it’s completely wheelchair accessible. It’s a recreational facility unlike anything else in the U.S.
“You have a walking path that’s a third of a mile lined with local artists’ work, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a snack shack that has eight bathrooms, but two of them special need bathrooms with electric changing tables. So, if someone has an issue, they don’t have to leave,” Christian Kane said.
The five-year project transforming this dirt field was made possible by the township, donors and Kane’s dream for his son and others.
In 2012, Kane’s vehicle was struck from behind by a truck. His son, Gavin, just 19 months old at the time, suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“Every day he gets better. Our hope is that he’ll obviously go on, and go on to college and have the life that was somewhat taken away from him. But it it doesn’t mean that you have to give up. It just means you have to find a different way to get to your goal,” Kane said.
Kane said $300,000 is still needed to cover the final costs.
The complex gives those with autism and developmental disabilities an opportunity to be active and have fun.
“It’s just a safe space for our individuals to come and have a good time,” said Cara Graham, from Graham Behavior Services.
“We can all play and have fun together in this one space. Everything doesn’t have to be separate,” said Ashley Kemmerer, from Graham Behavior Services.
Sponsor RWJBarnabas Health said this is all about serving an underserved community.
“We are all about building healthier communities and health equity, and really making a social impact,” said Justin Edelman, SVP of corporate sponsorships for RWJBarnabas Health.
Kane hopes the Field of Dreams becomes a destination spot for families with special needs loved ones.
“You don’t have to be worried about being stared at. You don’t have to worry about will it be accessible,” Kane said.
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