New Braunfels nonprofit to build all-abilities playground with Big Give SA funds

Callen Hughs Foundation founded in memory of Callen Clawson

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The Callen Hughs Foundation is planning to use money raised during the Big Give SA to help build an all-abilities playground in New Braunfels.

The foundation was created in memory of Callen Clawson, who was born in 2012 with a rare disease called porencephaly. Not expected to live past birth, Callen surprised everyone by surviving 9 1/2 months.

"He taught us a lot about life in general and how to strive and push forward," Callen's mother Lauren Clawson said.

One of the foundation's goals is to create a park in New Braunfels for children of all abilities. The park will boast many special features for kids of all needs, including large slides, swings, wheelchair-assessable sidewalks, sports fields, a miniature downtown New Braunfels and a fence encircling the entire play area.

"They need a place like this, where they can play, and enjoy, and not be judged and have fun,” Clawson said.

The park will be free for all to attend and is a closer alternative to Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Clawson said. The city of New Braunfels is behind it, too, approving the park earlier this year and donating 4 acres on the south side of town.

The land set aside for the park sits empty as money is raised to fund the project. Once funded, it would take approximately nine months to build, Clawson said.

"It’s a $4 million project,” Clawson said. “So we need as many donations and help in that regard as we possibly can.”

The Callen Hughs Foundation plans to pay for it all through donations and sponsors, already raising $30,000. The hope is that the Big Give SA can provide even more help.

The Big Give SA is a 24-hour giving period during which the public is encouraged to donate to nonprofit organizations. This year's event begins at midnight Tuesday and runs throughout the day until midnight Wednesday.

Click here for more information on the event and to see a list of organizations.

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