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Group raises money for special-needs playground

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 11/04/2013 8:13 am
FULTON, Miss. (WTVA) -- In June 2011, a group of women got together to continue the mission of their late friend April Craig Smith.

"[We want] to keep her memory alive and to fulfill the dreams that she had to serve special-needs children," April's Angels co-founder Emily Mabus said.

They are working to raise $100,000 to build what they call "Everybody's Playground" at Itawamba Attendance Center.

"This is actually a playground that is geared to special-needs children, but every child will be able to access the playground,"  Mabus said.

The group held its second annual Jingle and Mingle fundraiser Sunday in hopes of getting the last $20,000 they need to complete the playground.

"We need some donors to step up to the plate and make some donations and help us reach that goal and make some children really happy this Christmas," Mabus said.

Modern Woodmen Financial Representative Tim Brown is doing just that.

"That's exactly down our path, that's the stuff we want to do," Brown said.

His company will match the amount of money April's Angels makes at this fundraiser.

He said his company was touched by the ladies' goal.

"This is, by far, one of the more pleasing ones to do because of the accessibility of handicapped kids getting to a playground. That's amazing," Brown said.

Mabus said the community is behind their goal 100 percent.

She said the fundraiser has doubled in size this year.

"Itawamba County is known for that," Mabus said. "When there is a need in our area, our citizens here, they have a lot of love in their heart."

The group says the most important part of this project is the impact it will have on the children.

"[Children] learn through play so this is going to help them to become better adults and we're all part of it," April's Angels Director of Marketing Emily Quinn said.
That's all part of a mission, they say, that will strengthen their community and help those in need.
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