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TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2007
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Hartselle Rotarian pushes play area

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

TRINITY — Bob Francis of Hartselle told the Trinity Town Council on Monday that after serving 30 years as a project manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center, he is working on one of his most challenging and complex programs. And perhaps his last.

Francis, president of the Hartselle Rotary Club, said he is project manager for developing a Morgan County Special Needs Accessible Playground in Sparkman Park and needs Trinity's help.

He said that his committee, in checking with schools, found that there are more than 1,700 physically challenged children in the county.

Francis asked the council to consider a proclamation in support of the $600,000 project with the acronym of SNAP.

"This was a Civitan Club concept that began in 2002 and by late 2006 four civic clubs united in the effort, with the addition of the Lions, the Rotarians and the Kiwanis Club," Francis said.

"We chose Sparkman Park, near the Sparkman Civic Center, because it is centrally located and is surrounded by a swimming pool, tennis courts and the Ruben Sims Baseball Field."

He said numerous other benevolent agencies have joined the SNAP team, including the 22-member Morgan County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments which includes more than 420 members.

"United Way and the Volunteer Center of Morgan County also have joined in this endeavor," he said.

"Our target is a premier boundless playground in Alabama that we believe will attract national attention. There will be 60 to 80 individual pieces of equipment for the children to use."

Francis said the "firm yet realistic goal" is to open the facility by the spring of 2008.

He said that for more information, those interested should go online to www.snapplayground.org.

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