Denham Springs elementary school raising money for new adaptive playground in memory of student

Kids at Gray's Creek raising money for new, adaptive playground in honor of late student

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (WAFB) - Some kids in Denham Springs are working hard raising money so every child can play on a new inclusive playground at Gray’s Creek Elementary in Denham Springs.

The kids at Gray’s Creek are walking in the name of their schoolmate, Gabriel Michot, a 7-year-old who died in September from organ failure caused by a seizure.

A color run was held at the school to raise money for the playground.
A color run was held at the school to raise money for the playground. (Source: WAFB)

“He would love this. He would love every moment,” said his mother, Jessica Michot. She says despite living with a tracheostomy tube, Gabe was like any other kid ready to play.

“He would have ran through all of the colors and he would have just loved this event and loved the people and he would have had a great time,” Michot said.

But Michot says play time was not always easy for little Gabe; his medical needs often made it hard to use playground equipment.

“We want to take any chance we get to show people that people with all disabilities and medical complexities should be included,” Michot said.

On Friday, Nov. 22, she had full support from her community.

″We wanted to invite all of the parents to help us pay for some adaptive equipment in the name of our sweet boy that passed away, Gabe Michot," said Principal of Gray’s Creek, Melissa Doughtery.

Doughtery says losing Gabe was tough for the entire school; she plans to dedicate their first adaptive swing in his honor.

Disability-friendly equipment will be added to the school's playground using the money raised.
Disability-friendly equipment will be added to the school's playground using the money raised. (Source: WAFB)

″He was a little mischievous thing, always in a good mood, everybody loved him, oh he was just a big part of who we are," Doughtery said.

He also received his own special day declared by Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry. Michot says losing Gabe was hard, but she’s overwhelmed to know that his memory will be forever embedded in the community.

″Gray’s Creek has been amazing since he started. He attended school and loved to go to school and that is what gave us lasting memories," said Michot.

The school raised more than $6,700 to create a more inclusive playground for students with disabilities and special needs.

For more information about how you can help, call Gray’s Creek at 225-667-1808.

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