On December 10, 2022, Maderans gathered at Centennial Park to celebrate the dedication of a special needs playground in honor of the late Thaddeus Sran.
Thaddeus, a 2-year-old boy with special needs, was reported missing by his parents in 2020. The Madera Police Department worked exhaustively alongside community members, local businesses, City staff, and partnering agencies to search for Thaddeus. Tragically, his remains were later found near an orchard outside of the city.
In the aftermath of this heart-wrenching loss, the Madera City Council voted in August of 2020 to dedicate the recently built inclusive playground at Centennial Park to Thaddeus. The playground features a vast array of accessible play features, including wheelchair ramps and sensory play equipment, and was designed based on the input of community members and local organizations.
The ceremony was a touching tribute to Thaddeus and a celebration of the resilience and strength of the Madera community. A plaque was installed at the playground overlooking a place where children of all abilities can come together to play and have fun, and it will serve as a lasting tribute to Thaddeus and his short but meaningful life.