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Remembering Armand with a swing for everyone

The Sway Fun Swing ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday at Sunnyside Park marked the opening of a special swing that can accommodate both children in wheelchairs and their friends.

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The Sway Fun Swing ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday at Sunnyside Park marked the opening of a special swing that can accommodate both children in wheelchairs and their friends.

The swing was dedicated to the memory of Armand Garza, a former Churchill student who died last summer at the age of 15. Garza suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

Garza’s cousins Shane Draken, 13, and Jonny McCoy, 9, performed the ribbon-cutting before having their wheelchairs pushed onto the swing. The brothers have the same genetic disorder as Garza.

The boys’ grandparents, Debbie and Tom Henninger of Cloquet, attended the event.

“It was really swell. I’m just trying not to cry,” Debbie said. “There was a great turnout.”

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Retired teachers Deb Roach and Cathy Schroeder raised money to purchase the $13,000 swing as well as a bronze plaque with a picture of Garza and a list of the major donors of the project.

After the ribbon cutting a group of kids joined Draken and McCoy, swinging and laughing together on a picture perfect day.


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