By Abigail Thomason
August 28, 2017
The morning of August 19th dawned hot and sunny. However, the rising temperatures could not keep the community away from the musical playscape unveiling at the Art of Life Healing Garden. Sponsored by Dr. Praveen Buddiga of the Family Allergy Asthma Clinic and the Louis Gundelfinger Memorial Fund from the Central Valley Community Foundation, the musical playscape serves as a beautiful focal point of the Healing Garden. It consists of four colorful, larger than life outdoor musical instruments to lighten the hearts of children and adults alike.
Garrett Elliott, a local Boy Scout with Troop 354, labored to complete the musical playscape as his Eagle Scout project, volunteering roughly 250 hours. When asked his motivation for choosing to build the playscape, he said, “I wanted a project that would really be impactful for the community. I hope it’s a place of healing where people can learn to express themselves through music.”
That sentiment was echoed by Dr. Praveen Buddiga, who explained, “I always wanted to incorporate the art of medicine into my daily practice. When I started my private practice, I had the ability to do that on an exponential scale. I wanted to help (my patients) heal.” He recounted that his daughter taught him to appreciate music, and inspired him to create a fusion between the art of medicine and the art of music.
The musical playscape unveiling was a huge success with countless children who took joy in beating the colorful drums and playing the xylophone. Aesthetically, it could not be livelier or more in keeping with the joyful motif of the other playscapes. Local Kiwanis members expressed satisfaction at the unveiling of this new project, and reflected about the time and heart they poured into the first two playscapes.
Attendees enjoyed refreshments provided by Wawona Frozen foods, face painting by Artist Valerie Perez, and a musical inspired craft booth. Many people passing through the park were drawn to the festivities and paused to admire the “Create for Cancer” project tiles honoring those who have battled cancer, or sat in the areas of reflection with the mosaic stepping stones created by survivors.
The event could not have been better, and we eagerly look forward to the joy and healing the Family Allergy Asthma Clinic Musical Playscape will inspire for decades to come.