Elmore said he takes his 2-year-old son to the playground often. Their most recent trip was the Thursday before spring break.
“So many families were there and everyone was having such a good time. I can’t believe that someone would do that to a place where kids, especially kids with disabilities, play,” Elmore said.
Elmore, owner of Jasper radio stations The Planet 88.5-FM and Oldies 101.5-FM, is doing his part to help rebuild the playground by hosting an APEX Radiothon during the Walker County Home and Garden Show this weekend.
It will last from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The radio booth will be set up at the center court of Jasper Mall, and Elmore said anyone who wants to show support for APEX is encouraged to stop by.
“No donation is too small,” Elmore said.
He added that any business that donates more than $100 will receive a special mention during the Radiothon, and he is also willing to put a representative from the business on the air.
City employee Jennifer Smith said that Friends of APEX bracelets, which were produced when the playground was being built, will be given away periodically throughout the weekend.
Donors who give $500 or more will be recognized with their own paver at APEX.
Smith said that although the city does have insurance to help repair the park, the money raised in response to Sunday’s fire could be used to add sunshades, more benches and picnic tables and some water features at APEX.
She added that the support from people within the community and around the state has been overwhelming this week.
A sign-up sheet has already been started at Memorial Park Natatorium for individuals and groups who want to help with the clean-up efforts.
Many of those who have offered their time or money also helped break ground at APEX four years ago.
“It’s going to be like building APEX all over again. We’ve done it once. Now this time it’s going to be better,” Smith said.
Checks should be made out to the city of Jasper and include the words “APEX playground” on the memo line. Donations are tax-deductible.