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The Dream Of A Place To Call Their Own

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For ChildrenTexas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children

Adolescents facing physical challenges need a safe environment to explore the outdoors, to test their physical boundaries, to spread their wings. They need a place to play, to shout, to feel fresh air on their faces, to challenge themselves physically and mentally. They need the kind of place where they can feel comfortable, a place they can share with family and friends. What they need -- what they wish for -- is a place to call their own.

The proposed James F. Chambers Jr. Youth Fitness Park.

"Giving older children a safe and welcoming place to participate in sports and physical fitness activities is an important part of their overall development," says John Birch, M.D., assistant chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). "They will be able to test new skills, tackle new challenges, and enhance their self-esteem -- all important aspects of learning to live active lives in spite of disabilities."

The James F. Chambers Jr. Youth Fitness Park is designed to be just such a haven. This unique park, situated on the grounds of TSRHC in Dallas, will be a place that engages the whole adolescent: mind, body, and spirit. The park is designed to be accessible and challenging to young people with disabilities, while also embracing and attracting people of all ages and abilities. Fitness activities, therapeutic activities, relaxation and leisurely fun will all take place in the park. Once this dream becomes a reality, you'll find young people with disabilities playing, working, and experiencing the outdoors side by side with friends, family, and neighbors in the community.

According to Casey Parnell, TSRHC occupational therapist: "The activities we're planning for the park will help us care for adolescents more effectively. Our patients will be able to see how their therapies apply to real-world settings. They will test and try things -- like climbing a hill or playing sports -- before they go outside or on the court with their peers."

Help Pave The Way

You can help make this dream of a park for adolescent patients and their families a reality. The James F. Chambers Jr. Youth Fitness Park will be a place where people of all ages and abilities can come together to enjoy the outdoors.

The park features something for everyone, including an All-Sports Court with a basketball and tennis court. Individuals can play volleyball and street hockey in this area as well.

The Veranda will be a central gathering place in the park where children, families, and staff members can spend leisure time outdoors. They may enjoy the fresh air and sunshine as well as lunch, lectures, and games.

The Leisure Trail will border the perimeter of the park. Here, patients can enjoy walking, jogging or leisurely strolls. The trail will also comfortably accommodate two wheelchairs side by side.

The Discovery Maze will offer an exciting and challenging problem-solving experience, maneuvering through four-foot-high natural hedges and shrubs. This area will also include space for lawn sports.

You literally can help pave the way for the park through the hospital's special giving program. The park will feature several beautiful brick areas, and each donation may be designated for an engraved brick. Bricks may be engraved with your name, the names of your children or grandchildren, or in honor or memory of a loved one or friend.

Buying a brick or making a donation to the hospital's general fund are both greatly appreciated. Through your support, we can make this dream a reality.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) opened its doors to the children of Texas in 1921 when a Dallas orthopedic surgeon recognized a growing need to provide superior medical care regardless of a family's ability to pay.

Supported solely through private donations, TSRHC has emerged as one of the nation's leading medical centers for the treatment of pediatric orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders, and learning disabilities.

Today, the hospital provides ongoing treatment for more than 12,000 children, without charge. Through the hospital's commitment to research and study, medical breakthroughs and new technologies have dramatically impacted the lives of more than 100,000 children, not only in Texas, but through- out the world. For more information about the youth fitness park and how to donate towards its completion, write to the address at the head of this article or call 214-559-5000.