Each year, the City of Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks Department enlists the help of volunteers to build a magic wheelchair for a local child who will serve as the honorary starter for the Barrier Free 5k. The Barrier Free 5k helps to raise funds for the expansion of Congress Avenue Barrier Free Park, a park specifically designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities with a space to play, laugh and live without limits.
This year’s magic wheelchair recipient is Joshua Hazzard, a happy, remarkable six year old boy. Joshua was born with several rare brain disorders, resulting in complex medical issues such as cortical legal blindness and cerebral palsy. Despite these challenges, Joshua has far exceeded the early expectations of his doctors and is known for defying the odds. At Royal Palm School where he is in kindergarten, he’s known as the “Mayor” since he loves to wave and say hello to everyone he meets. Joshua and his biological brother, Jonathan were both adopted from foster care by Tom and Marianne Hazzard. Joshua has been with the Hazzard’s since he was two days old. Due to Joshua’s medical complexities, his adoption took longer and was finalized July 2017.
“In his short six years, Joshua has touched countless lives. His laughter is contagious and his smile lights up every room,” says Marianne Hazzard.
With the help of our volunteers, this year’s magic wheelchair is sure to make Joshua smile. The wheelchair will be unveiled at Magic Wheels & Special Deals taking place at Congress Avenue Barrier Free Park (3111 S. Congress Avenue) on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. The event will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate a new playground addition to the park. Vendors, such as the Foodies4Autism food truck and ScentsAbility Candles, will be onsite to promote their programs and services that support people with disabilities.