TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) — Giving back is something that the Busch Family, of Chenango Bridge, has always looked to do. When 4-year-old Cooper Busch was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, that mission didn’t stop.
"We’re usually on the giving end," said Cooper’s mother, Tara Busch, "It’s just in our nature to want to give back."
Unfortunately Cooper Busch passed away in May after battling cancer for more than a year.
"We always knew we wanted to start something for Cooper regardless of the outcome of his cancer," said Tara Busch.
Now that mission is accelerating. As Cooper’s smile is living on through Super Cooper Saves the Day, a non-profit that formed in June, weeks after Cooper’s death.
"His story doesn’t stop because as a community we’re going to keep it alive," said Tara Busch.
On Friday, one of the first officials events for the organization is taking place at Chenango Bridge Park. Super Cooper Saves the Day Presents: Family Fun Night will feature Wiffle Ball tournaments, food, drinks, face painting, and live music all starting at 6 p.m.
The park is where the Busch’s have spent a lot of time at the Chenango Bridge Park, especially when the oldest of the three Busch children, Cole, had a baseball or soccer game.
"We’re here all the time and right now there’s just a swing set here for younger siblings to play on," said Tara Busch. However, that will soon change due to fundraising at Friday’s event.
"We are hosting this night to let everyone know about the Super Cooper Memorial playground, that we’re fundraising for that will be right here at the park in Cooper’s memory," emphasized Tara Busch.
Those attending are encouraged to bring gently used or new sneakers as well as recyclable bottles and cans. Those will help fund the playground.
"We’re encouraging people to bring any bottles and cans and clean out your closets," said Tara Busch. "We found a company that will pay us per pound for used shoes." A metal company will also turn the recyclables into a profit for the playground plans.
Between now and October, Tara Busch said she’s hoping to raise $15,000 for the playground, and is always looking for extra funding.
"The ultimate goal is to build a really cool playground here that people can come down to this park just to enjoy," said Tara Busch, who hopes for the playground to be ready in the spring of 2019.
Also at Friday’s event will be the playing of "Everyone’s Hero," a baseball movie about Babe Ruth. Families can bring a blanket to sit in the lawn and watch the movie, which will go on around 8 p.m. according to Tara Busch.
"A lot of people didn’t realize that was the movie, they thought we were describing Cooper, so it kind of fits with the theme of Cooper," explained Tara Busch.
Super Cooper Saves the Day books and t-shirts will also be sold on Friday. Tara Busch said shirts were printed on Wednesday using funds from the Sock Out Cancer Benefit Concert.