A little boy who could neither see nor walk dreamed of a playground where children of all abilities could play together. His name was Matteo, and the Lions Clubs determined to make his dream come true. What better to fit the 2014 Rose Parade theme of “Dreams Come True” than a replica of this playground in flowers, “Lions Clubs Built Matteo’s Dream.”
Lions Clubs International, in conjunction with the Concord, Calif. Lions Club and the city’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission, created the first “all abilities playground” in the San Francisco Bay area in 2007. Children who cannot see, hear or walk can safely play alongside children who can.
The float, designed by Dave Pittman of Phoenix Decorating Company, depicted the treehouse play structures from that playground and won the Tournament Special Trophy for Exceptional Merit In Multiple Classifications.
Matteo, who had cerebral palsy, passed away on March 16, 2010 at age 11, and the float was dedicated to honor his memory.
The list attached to this article gives details on the float, but it’s also worth taking a look at photos of the actual playground in Hillcrest Park, Concord, Calif. and reading a short article about the details of construction by David DeBolt of the Contra Costa Times.
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