southtownstar
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

LWSRA opens in New Lenox

Bob Reczek served up dogs brats for guests who attended LWSRA gropening. | ErGallagher/For Sun-Times Media

Bob Reczek served up dogs and brats for guests who attended the LWSRA grand opening. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 68275807
tmspicid: 24265890
fileheaderid: 12031803
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: July 26, 2014 6:29AM



People with disabilities just got a new place in New Lenox to hang out, play sports, learn and make new friends.

The Lincolnway Special Recreation Association officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday.

The new 17,000-square-foot facility features a wheel-chair accessible gymnasium, softball field, teaching kitchen, therapy garden, classrooms, work out center and office space. The $4.5 million center is the only one of its kind built from the ground up in Illinois.

The LWSRA serves six park districts, including New Lenox, Frankfort, Manhattan, Mokena, Peotone and Wilmington Island. Before the center was built, the LWSRA relied on area schools and member park district facilities to host over 200 programs annually.

“The building allows LWSRA to expand its programs and reduce program waiting lists,” according to a press release. “That’s a far cry from the four programs and 15 participants it had when LWSRA opened back in 1976.”

“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it to happen,” executive director Keith Wallace said. “We made it happen.”

The center is located on 5.6 acres in the Heather Glen subdivision, at the northeast corner of Laraway and Schoolhouse Roads.

“LWSRA is an asset to the entire Lincolnway area, and we’re thrilled that the facility is located in New Lenox,” New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said.

Nick Lorenz, an LWSRA participant and Global Messenger for the Special Olympics gave the opening speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Both his parents volunteer with fundraisers and events at the center, he said. He said the new facility is a place he will be coming to for the rest of his life.

“May God bless the LWSRA,” Lorenz said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.