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Sertoma of Greater Grand Forks

Service to Mankind

Sertoma Park Japanese Gardens

Ali’s Boundless Playground

Ali's playground construction
ribbon cutting

It was Ali Karpenko’s dream to have a community playground that is accessible to children with disabilities. With the support of her friends, family and various community organizations, she worked to raise $200,000 for a new Boundless Playground to be constructed in Grand Forks, ND in 2008.Ali, age 13, was born with Spina Bifida. “I am very blessed, as I have a very mild case of it. Many of the problems Iface are hidden to most, as I am very physically able. I did not begin the playground project for myself. I’m doing itfor the kids like me who have a disability, but aren’t as lucky as I am.” Boundless Playgrounds are tailor-made for the way children are naturally drawn to play.

They are universally accessible so everyone can play side by side at his or her own highest level of ability.The Grand Forks Park District donated land in Sertoma Park and assisted in the construction and on-going maintenance of the playground. Two local organizations, Grand Forks Sertoma Club and The Arc, Upper Valley teamed up to assist Ali in her marketing and fundraising efforts which included soliciting donations from local residents and businesses. The project also had the support of Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown.“I think every kid should be able to have fun and feel like they belong,” says Ali at the time. “It would be nice to have a place where kids with disabilities and their siblings could have fun together.” On behalf of Ali and her friends we thank you for your interest and your support.