Saturday morning in Pocatello, an annual event celebrated those with disabilities in the community at O.K. Ward Park.
The celebration marks the 8th anniversary of the completion of Brooklyn’s Playground and the 10th annual South East Idaho Buddy Walk. For eight years, the events have gone hand in hand.
“So, buddy walk is just an awesome opportunity for us to get together with other families and people that have disabilities in the community, it doesn’t have to be just down syndrome, we open that up to anyone that has a disability. we come out and celebrate that and we do a walk around the park,” Jonny Fisher, president of Brooklyn’s Buddies, explained.
Fisher says his daughter, Brooklyn, who was born with spina bifida, was the one who inspired him to get involved.
“She’s in a wheelchair and isn’t able to use regular playgrounds. So, we saw an idea like this in Salt Lake and thought we need to bring that to our community,” he said.
When Fisher got started with the initiative, the community was right there with him.
“‘We want a tractor here, we want a tree slide here, we want a pirate ship,’ you know. We asked the kids, we got their input and then everybody came and worked shoulder to shoulder to put it together.”
Fisher says one of the reasons the playgroup has held up so well is that people treat it like it’s theirs.
“People are like, ‘hey, dont jump on that like that, I built that,'” he said. “It’s their project, it’s a part of them.”
As part of Saturday’s celebration, more than 300 people gathered to show that they’re all more similar than they are different.
“This gives us an opportunity for everybody to come together, build community, meet new people, develop friendships and that’s really what life is all about. Life is relational,” Fisher said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to really get to know each other and to realize that we’re, like I said, more alike than we’re different.”
Fisher added that he wanted to thank the community for their continued support over the years.