The family of Owen Schroeder has donated $10,000 for playground equipment at Womble Park in memory of their 4-year-old son.
Owen died last October after being struck by a truck in Holly Glen while playing with a group of children in the neighborhood. His parents, Laura and Josh Schroeder, were present at the March 2 Town Council meeting, during which they were recognized for the donation.
The funds will fund an expansion of the playground for a double bay swing set, the first set of swings in the Town’s parks system. A park bench with an engraved memorial plaque will placed nearby. Completion of the playground addition is expected by May.
Owen enjoyed playing in Town parks, particularly at Bass Lake, Sugg Farm, and the playground at Womble. The Schroeders wanted to honor his memory by contributing toward a safe play space for other children.
The Schroeders’ donation was from a GoFundMe community contribution. The total cost of the equipment, bench and playground surfacing is estimated at $17,600, with park maintenance funds supplementing the donation.
Also at the March 2 meeting, the Town Council approved a $5,000 grant to the Together on Center Stage program for its anti-bullying efforts. The funding comes from a $50,000 state grant that the Town received in late 2018 for anti-bullying initiatives, school safety and supplies, and the Mayor’s Anti-Bullying Campaign.
Together on Center Stage (TOCS) will use the funding to find a new location for its youth theater program and related efforts to serve teens with disabilities. TOCS was forced to find a new location after COVID forced it to shut down due to inability to pay rent.
At the March 2 meeting, the Council also heard a presentation on Wake County’s Southern Regional Center.