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More than eighty women came out to Desaki Restaurant in February to increase the bling in their jewelry boxes and to support a great cause. Desaki owner, Charlie Lynn Trapasso, hosted the Ladies Night Out Jewelry Party to raise funds and increase awareness for Crossing Abilities, Monroe County's only all-inclusive playground. The night's festivities raised more than $2,200 for the playground.

Participants had the opportunity to look through Premier Designs Jewelry, while sipping on martinis and enjoying plenty of complimentary sushi and appetizers. Co-host Vicky Padmos, a Premier Designs Jewelry Consultant, brought a large dose of sparkle to the festivities and donated a portion of the evening's jewelry proceeds to the playground.

"I was honored to be included in the Crossing Abilities Playground fundraiser. It was a celebratory night filled with fun and all for a great cause."

Aside from bringing women together to enjoy martinis and jewelry, the evening's main goal was to highlight the importance of the new playground for the children of Monroe County. Crossing Abilities, a project of Pocono Alliance, is powered by volunteers like Trapasso with the collective vision of making this much-needed playground a reality for the community. These volunteers believe that every child should be able to play and have fun no matter their age or their ability. The

playground will cater to children with physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional and developmental disabilities, while encouraging imaginative and cooperative play.

Trapasso sits on the Pocono Alliance Advisory Council and has adopted the playground as her special project. When asked about her work with Crossing Abilities, Trapasso explained her passion for the project.

"Having three healthy children, I took for granted life without obstacles. The fact that there are more 5,000 children with disabilities in Monroe County is astounding to me. Crossing Abilities Playground will allow children of all ages, with or without a disability to run, slide, swing, or spin together. Laughter and the sound of music will echo in the park from the musical sound garden. I can't wait to see the joy on a mother's face when she sees her child laughing and playing without a care in the world. Every child deserves that. I feel blessed to be a part of something so powerful! We are close to achieving our goal and I'm confident our amazing community will come through to help us complete the Crossing Abilities Playground at Mountain View Park."

Pocono Alliance is currently selling bricks for the Crossing Abilities Playground. Bricks range in price from $100 to $750 and are available for individuals, non-profits and businesses who would like to etch their name into the playground's history. For more information on the Crossing Abilities all-inclusive playground, visit the Pocono Alliance website at or call 517-3953.