CHENANGO BRIDGE, NY – A new play place in Chenango Bridge serves as a tribute to a young boy who will be remembered for his smiles, laughter and ability to bring people together.
A ribbon cutting for the Super Cooper Memorial Playground at the Chenango Bridge Civic Park was held on Friday.
It’s named for Cooper Busch, an outgoing young boy with Down Syndrome who died in 2018 at age 4 from leukemia.
The project includes swings, a play set, musical instruments and more.
Plus, there are a number of tributes to Cooper, including a dedication plaque with his photo, the Super Cooper logo in the poured in place rubber surfacing, the children’s book “Super Cooper Saves the Day” printed on two panels and a friendship swing like the one Cooper loved to ride on at Rec Park.
His mother, Tara Busch, says the idea came from the struggle she and other parents would have when older children had games on the park’s athletic fields and their younger siblings were left with nothing to do.
“I thought, what a great idea it would be to have a space at the park where the kids can really be entertained, the parents can focus on the game, and then after the game, the older kids can come and play too. So, we specifically wanted the playground to be appropriate for a wide range so our structure is rated for 2 to 12 year-olds,” says Busch.
Busch thanked local leaders for helping to make the 2 year-old dream a reality.
State Senator Fred Akshar secured $75,000.
But when that money was held up, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar was able to transfer other state monies to the playground as well as contribute $15,000 in county funds.
The Town of Chenango contributed over $30,000 with the remaining, roughly $11,000 coming from fundraisers held by the non-profit Super Cooper Saves the Day.