Reaching “new heights” through play and exploration

A message from one of our grateful recipients – Wheel & Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson

New Rock Climbing Wall

The new rock climbing wall

If you have young children and are local to the area, odds are you have found yourself at the Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum of Hutchinson a time or two (or twenty!).  A popular destination for our area children year-round, and especially during our cold winter months, it is a place where they can explore, learn, and be physically active. Hutchinson Health Foundation recently awarded Wheel & Cog their second grant to support the purchase a 0-3 year-old Community Playthings modular play set and a 8 ft x 20 ft climbing wall. (Read more about their first grant awarded in 2017 here.) 

Jessica Sabrowsky, founder of the Wheel & Cog, shared how the Foundation grant supported the addition of these two big body play pieces to the current exhibit spaces and enhanced the options for children of all ages between 0-12 years whom the museum targets.

Sabrowsky explained:

The modular playset, targeted at children 3 years and younger has been a fan favorite! This modular playset offers gross motor play opportunities for the young ones and includes small steps, a tunnel and slide. There are also railings to help young ones develop gross motor skills and a mirror. On average, we have had about 10 infants visit most days, sometimes more.

The climbing wall has also added elevation for guests, allowing them to reach “new heights”. The climbing wall has also been a fan favorite, offering all museum guests the opportunity to experience the physical challenge of rock climbing. In addition, the wall provides the opportunity for therapy, social-emotional and cognitive development. The Everlast Climbing wall relates to meeting national standards and grade-level outcomes for K-12 Physical Education.

Wheel and Cog Children’s Museum, like most non-profit organizations, relies heavily on community support through donations, grants, and volunteers. The museum board of directors voted to leverage the donation from Hutchinson Health Foundation with Legacy Funding to complete the purchase for the modular playset and climbing wall. A group of 3M maintenance volunteers, led by Joe Nelson, donated time to install the climbing wall at the museum. We are thankful to have so many organizations within our community who generously support non-profit organizations with volunteer programs and funding opportunities. We cannot say thank you enough for all the support.”

When asked why it is important to keep health care local in our community? Jessica shared:

Delivering quality healthcare services in a rural community does more than provide the needed healthcare. It also has a positive impact on the economic health of the community through supporting higher paying jobs. In rural communities, healthcare and overall vitality of the community are intrinsically linked. A robust community supports and sustains quality health services for its residents by attracting and retaining highly trained and committed healthcare professionals. The doctors, nurses and healthcare network offer a vital safety net for their communities. Communities with strong economies may also be more likely to financially support the healthcare system through higher rates of health insurance coverage, philanthropic giving, and by investing in infrastructure that can be leveraged by the healthcare system. In return, a high-quality healthcare system can support economic and community development initiatives.

If you are interested in learning how to apply for a Foundation grant, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438.

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