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Fall festival Sunday aids park swing effort
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Forsyth County News
If you're going
River United Methodist Church's family festival
When: 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sharon Springs Park
Cost: Free for children age 3 and younger; $3 for ages 3-12; and $5 for all other ages. Family passes are $15.
Contact: Rev. Nancy Johnson, (678) 648-5522, or go online at

The River United Methodist Church will hold its inaugural family festival Sunday afternoon at Sharon Springs Park.

The goal is to raise money to place handicap-accessible swings in Forsyth County and Cumming parks.

The church has paired with Grayon's Gift, a local nonprofit agency, for the project.

"Our church wanted to connect with them and try and help bring this progress about," said the Rev. Nancy Johnson. "We thought this would be a good and important fundraiser for this county."

The event will feature arts and crafts, storytelling, safety demonstrations, facepainting, a moonwalk and exhibition by Special Twist, a special needs cheer group.

The "Accessible Swing in Every Park Project" began when members of the church and the agency got together during Leadership Forsyth, a yearly class that teaches residents about the community through projects and participation.

Johnson said they hope to make the festival an annual event to fund the project "until there's a swing in every park."

Handicap-accessible swings, Johnson said, basically provide extra restraint.

"Some kids need more restraint," she said. "If they have very low upper body strength or low coordination in their upper body, this helps them."

She said some swings are "platforms that allow a wheelchair to be rolled up onto them and then you can fasten the wheelchair and they can swing that way."

Johnson said the swings range in price from $300 to $600.

Grayson's Gift supports individuals with disabilities and families. Its goal is to increase awareness of issues affecting children with disabilities and to help form a network of parents and friends interested in the needs of those with disabilities.