An O'Fallon family and founders of the local non-profit organization Unlimited Play head to New York on Monday to appear as guests on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.
Natalie said she received a call from Kathie Lee on Monday morning. The entire family, including her husband Todd and children, Zachary, 11, Brianna, 9 and Cassie, 7, were invited to be part of the Today Show's “Everyone has a Story” segment.
Zachary Blakemore was born with a rare genetic central nervous system disease that makes it difficult for him to walk and speak. After noticing the playgrounds were making it tough for Zachary to play with his friends, the .
Unlimited Play, Inc. is a local non-profit organization to raise money, plan and build accessible playgrounds where children of all abilities can have fun.
Since 2003, the accessible playgrounds have become a full-time job and passion for Natalie Blakemore and Victoria Schmitt Babb. Together they raise money, design the playgrounds and spread a message of understanding differences through the universal language of play.
The women work from home, making phone calls and sending emails to groups across country as they raise money, write grants, and cultivate vendors and donors.
Today the organization has built in three parks, including in Lake Saint Louis,in Clayton and in O’Fallon.
Unlimited Play's next project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2012 in Jaycee Park in St. Charles.
Natalie said a few months ago she submitted her story to the Today Show's "Everyone Has a Story" segment, which invites viewers to submit "amazing, life-changing experiences" on the website.
The Blakemore family's story will run on NBC Thursday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m.
According to a news release from Unlimited Play, Inc., following the phone call on Monday morning, the family of five had just a few hours to pack and board a plane bound for New York City.
The producers could not share details, but the Blakemores were told NBC Studios had fun adventures planned for the family throughout the week.
The Blakemore family is expected to return back home to O’ Fallon on Thursday evening.