Handicap-accessible playground equipment was recently installed at Thompson Park through a partnership between the Coastal Bend Civitan Club and the City of Kingsville, providing additional swings designed for children with special needs.

“The kids are already out there enjoying the new swings,” Janelle Nix, project chairman for the Coastal Bend Civitan Club, said.

The City of Kingsville replaced existing playground equipment at Thompson Park in March of this year as part of planned upgrades to the city’s parks system.

In April, the Coastal Bend Civitan Club donated nearly $3,100 to the City of Kingsville to use in the purchase and installation of a generational swing that can hold two people on opposite ends, along with a therapeutic swing that features a large bucket seat.

“And what I like about (the swings) is they’re not set apart for kids with disabilities,” Nix said. “They’re inclusive. Kids who do not have disabilities can also enjoy the swings, and that’s what we want. We want everybody to enjoy them.”

Nix said the swings at Thompson Park were provided through grant funding from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. She said the club has remaining CBCF grant funds that will be used to install handicap-accessible playground equipment at additional local parks.

Founded in 1917 in Birmingham, Ala., Civitan is a non-profit organization that centers its activities and outreach on providing assistance and support for people with developmental or other disabilities. The organization derives its name from the Latin word “civitas,” which means “citizenship.”

In 2014, the Coastal Bend Civitan Club was formed and has served the Kingsville area for the past five years. In addition to donating funds for the handicap-accessible swing sets at Kleberg and Thompson parks, other club projects have included volunteering at the Special Olympics in Corpus Christi and the annual Ranch Hand Festival, working with the TAMUK Lions Club to provide support for the “Very Merry Christmas” event that caters to children with special needs, supporting CASA families during the holiday season and facilitating letter jackets to Special Olympic athletes at H.M. King High School.

For more information or to donate to the Coastal Bend Civitan Club, contact Janelle Nix at (210) 643-6846 or by email at ladybugjn@swbell.net.

The organization can also be found on Facebook @cbcivitan.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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