Carter’s Play Place has long wanted jazz prodigy and autism advocate Matt Savage to share his empowering journey
Savage will speak and perform at a Carter’s Play Place fundraising event for the first time Sept. 12 at The Club at Chatham in Westfield. Carter’s Play Place is an adaptive playground and therapy center for children and teens with all abilities.
“Ms. Edith Glover, the owner of Carter’s, is in her 80s, and this event is a dream come true for her and those we serve with diverse abilities,” said Tasha Cleaver, director of Carter’s Play Place. “We have been working for almost 20 years to bring Matt to Indiana to inspire us through his music and journey as an autism advocate. We are striving to create an opportunity to shine a light on the beauty and diverse abilities of all people through Matt’s music and inspire them to find and share the gifts living inside them.”
Festivities will begin in the Sky Room from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. with a free special needs resource and vendor fair where families and individuals with disabilities can learn more about resources, programming and activities available in the area. A VIP cocktail reception will take place in Hamilton’s Bar & Grille from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and entertainment will begin at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Savage and his band will take play from 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Savage also will conduct a Q&A session.
The “Rebuilding Carter’s Play Place” campaign will help fund the new Westfield facility slated to open in spring 2022 on Spring Mill Road.
“The specialized therapeutic-grade equipment required to create an adaptive play place will cost Carter’s nearly $1 million,” Cleaver said. “Since September 2016, Carter’s has served almost 40,000 play visits and therapy sessions. So, there’s certainly a need in the community. The new facility will allow us to serve a larger group of people who are looking for adaptive and inclusive services. To date, Carter’s has raised $350,000 for the new facility. However, we have a long way to go and continue to work on securing the funding needed to serve kids, teens and their families with the utmost quality of equipment and services.”
Cleaver said the new facility will be approximately 7,500 square feet, more than double the size of the original space (3,200 square feet). New features include multiple class and therapy rooms, a larger party rental space, dance and exercise studio and new sensory play attractions.
In 2019, LEL Home Services, a leading provider of Medicaid waiver services, took ownership of Carter’s to continue the mission.
Tickets are $40 and include admission to the resource and vendor fair, performance, silent auction and hors d’oeuvres. VIP tables start at $400 and include a VIP cocktail reception, artist meet and greet and after-party.