August 11, 2020
New Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation To Coordinate Future Planning, Fundraising
SAN ANTONIO – Gordon Hartman, who since 2005 has devoted his energies to helping the special-needs community, today announced creation of the Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation (MWIF) to coordinate planning and fundraising among all the Morgan’s Wonderland-associated initiatives.
In addition to world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park, the list of entities designed and built with inclusion in mind includes Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park, Morgan’s Wonderland Sports complex, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp and new initiatives in the planning stages such as the Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland, or The MAC.
“Ten years ago, we opened Morgan’s Wonderland, a first-class theme park the likes of which exist nowhere else in the world,” said Hartman, a former homebuilder who sold his business to champion inclusion. “We really didn’t know what to expect, but the popularity and acceptance of the park spurred us to do even more. We went on to build a splash park, a sports complex and a summer camp-type facility that will operate year-round. Meanwhile, other ambitious projects are on the drawing board. We’ve got a lot going on, and there’s so much more that we want to accomplish. So to centralize communication and achievement of our mission, we created MWIF to manage and coordinate among our ‘family’ members.”
MWIF is a 501c3 organization, Hartman added, and all donations to MWIF will directly benefit Morgan’s Wonderland-related endeavors.
The new foundation will look to the community – caring individuals, organizations and foundations – for continued financial support to expand the Morgan’s Wonderland mission of inclusion, Hartman explained. Such generosity will help defray administrative and other costs incurred by Morgan’s Wonderland-related ventures. This will go a long way toward ensuring long-term success for these facilities as they serve those with and without special needs for years to come.
Hartman said the MWIF’s stated mission is “to improve the quality of life for individuals of all ages and all abilities through initiatives that produce fully-inclusive, ultra-accessible™ experiences.” He also noted that the foundation’s vision is “to spark cultural change in order to create a more-inclusive world” and that “empower, include, educate and innovate” will be the values that MWIF espouses.
Hartman and his wife, Maggie, created Morgan’s Wonderland as a result of their 26-year-old daughter Morgan’s inspiration. “Her soaring spirit despite physical and cognitive challenges since birth created within us a deep desire to help children and adults with special needs,” said Gordon Hartman.
Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, which is closed for the remainder of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers more than 25 attractions including wheelchair-accessible rides, playgrounds and gardens for the enjoyment of guests young and older. This past year, TripAdvisor inducted Morgan’s Wonderland into its Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. The Texas Governor’s Committee on People With Disabilities also presented its highest lifetime-achievement honor – The Governor’s Trophy – to Gordon Hartman and Morgan’s Wonderland.
Since grand opening in April 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland has welcomed approximately 1.8 million guests from all 50 states and 76 other countries. And, the park has kept its pledge to admit anyone with a special need free of charge. It’s located in Northeast San Antonio, a half-mile west of IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. In addition to visiting the park’s website, www.MorgansWonderland.com, interested individuals can call (210) 495-5888 for more information.
Buoyed by the success of Morgan’s Wonderland, Hartman and his team in 2017 introduced tropically-themed Morgan’s Inspiration Island, with its revolutionary waterproof wheelchairs developed in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. More details are available at www.MorgansWonderland.com.
Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, a 3-acre complex offering fitness and competition for athletes with different abilities, will hold its grand opening in October. It’s situated adjacent to North East Independent School District’s Heroes Stadium on Thousand Oaks Drive, and it will offer 28 court or field combinations for playing eight sports. Additional information can be found at www.MorgansWonderlandSports.com.
Construction continues at Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, a 102-acre recreational oasis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio near the J. W. Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa. Year-round it will offer a summer-camp-type experience to those with and without special needs. Activities will include ultra-accessible ziplining, horseback riding, hiking, archery, cycling, swimming and much more.
Completion of the camp is projected for late this year. Updates are available at www.MorgansWonderlandCamp.com.
Planning is well under way on the Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland, a unique, one-stop-shop model that will provide all medical and non-medical services for those with special needs in one location. All services will be offered in a multi-story, 165,000-square-foot structure near Morgan’s Wonderland. The MAC will be comprised of partner organizations working together under one roof to address the multi-faceted needs of people with disabilities. Additional information is available at www.MorgansWonderlandMAC.com.
“We are profoundly grateful to the organizations and individuals that have given generously to support Morgan’s Wonderland and our related entities,” Hartman said. “With the MWIF, we’re looking to generate sustained funding and support that will ensure the success of our mission for years to come. We’re truly just getting started in carrying out our mission of inclusion.”