Assemblywoman Bonilla Honors “Matteo’s Dream” Founders, Concord Boy who will Ride in the Rose Bowl Parade

December 18, 2013 17:39 pm · 12 comments



Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla honored Concord residents Liz Lamach and René Henderson for their hard work and passion in founding “Matteo’s Dream – A Playground for Children of All Abilities.” Lamach and Henderson received a certificate from Assemblywoman Bonilla for making “Matteo’s Dream” come true, at a ceremony today at their playground in Concord.

“‘Matteo’s Dream’ is unique because it is one of the few playgrounds in the nation where children with physical challenges can play with other children,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “It is truly inspiring for me to see Liz and René realize their son’s dream by creating this playground from land donated by the City of Concord and see it receive national praise.”

“René and I are both humbled and honored that Lions Club International chose this project for its Rose Parade float,” said Liz Lamach. “We are very proud to represent our son on this float, and the fact that we are going to share Matteo’s Dream with the country is incredible. Any time playgrounds get adapted to be more inclusive so that all children can play, we feel great pride.”

Their crowning achievement, built in honor of their son, Matteo, now deceased, will be the focus of a Rose Bowl parade float sponsored by Lions Clubs International. Lamach will ride on the parade float along with Christian Campbell, a 17 year-old boy with cerebral palsy from Concord. At today’s ceremony, Christian and his mother Kausha King were congratulated by Assemblywoman Bonilla, City of Concord officials and the Concord Police Association, all who raised funds to send Christian and his family to ride in the 125th annual Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.

“Many individuals and local organizations were inspired by Christian’s story and made generous contributions to enable him and his family to live the dream and ride in the Rose Bowl Parade,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “I am very proud to be a part of this community effort.”

top photo: Matteo’s Dream Rose Bowl Parade Float – Courtesy of Lion’

bottom photo: Courtesy of Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla


1 Atticus Thraxx December 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM

People who dedicate their lives to the daily well being of the severely handicapped, humble me. A cool thing for CPA to help out with. City Council too. It is not physically possible for me to praise our Assemblywomen, but I’m working on that.

2 Silva December 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM

It’s probably worth mentioning that the playground is at Hillcrest Park, at 2050 Olivera Road. I’m going to be taking my grandson there for sure!

3 Politics101 December 18, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Never give a picture of yourself to the media if it looks like you are pinching a loaf.

4 Pro Fi December 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Awesome job Concord. My special needs nephew and I visit this park as it is close to home. Kudos to the parents and kids that go there as well. We have never had a problem with kids being cruel to him and he LOVES it. I am so happy for the families involved. Makes me proud to call Concord home!

5 Nature Lover December 19, 2013 at 4:33 AM

FYI: It is called The Tournament of Roses Parade; NOT the rose bowl parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade was in existance years before the Rose Bowl began.

6 Jim December 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

These folks do great things but Concord did them a diservice by it’s location…We use to go there but after my daughter brought me a used needle from underneath the main structure we haven’t been back…We also saw some very rough characters there, sagged pants and dirty bums…it’s just sad Concord wouldn’t have given them more prime real estate…but then again Concord doesn’t really have much prime real estate anymore

7 Are you kidding December 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek will be getting an “all Accessible Playground” next Spring. This will really benefit all Claycordians, just by location alone.

8 babycita December 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Yes this park can have some rough people hanging around at times, but we still visit it because it’s awesome. It’s nice to see a great park in a area where many children enjoy it. I saw Matteo’s mom out there one day fixing some broken tiles herself; they are obviously very dedicated. This is a true labor of love for this family and it really honors their son and is something the City and Matteo’s family should be really proud of. Thank you for your efforts, my children and I have had many lovely times at this park!

9 Well done Liz and Rene!! December 19, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I happen to know Liz and Rene. I know they are very much dedicated to this park and put a lot of effort into getting it built and maintaining it. It saddens them when people deface the park because it has such special meaning to them and to many families. They are out there on a constant basis trying to maintain the area but they can only do so much. No matter where a park is located, there are always people who are inconsiderate and degrade the parks. So I say Kudos to Liz and Rene, kudos to the Lion’s club, kudos to the City of Concord, to all those who helped get this park built, and to all the people who work tirelessly to maintain the park, for making this all happen. I am certain they would be happy to have all the help they can get to help keep the park in useable clean condition. So instead of saying what’s wrong, it would be great if everybody would help make it RIGHT!

10 Weeks to Baltimore O's December 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Thank you ladies! You are great people! Good work!

11 Lion Mike December 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I was just one of hundreds of volunteers who helped Liz and Rene’s vision become reality. It was gratifying to see a community come together to create something so wonderful. I am glad that it is such a vital and beloved place for all children.

12 john vandagriff December 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM

The concord city employees of the parks and rec. division take pride in the appearance of Matteo’s dream tot lot at hillcrest park in concord. I am sure the diligence practiced by city employees does not go unnoticed by the concerned citizens of concord. It is an honor for the city of concord to have a float dedicated to Matteo’s dream and be a part of the rose parade.

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