LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — On weekdays, executive producer Scott Williams creates television magic behind the scenes of the hit series “NCIS.”
But in his spare time, the driven executive uses his talent to advocate for an initiative that is dear to his heart — making dreams come true for families with disabilities through his non-profit organization, Shane’s Inspiration.
In 1997, Shane Alexander Williams was born with spinal muscular atrophy. Shane passed away two weeks after his birth.
Looking past their heartache, Williams and his wife Catherine designed plans to construct an inclusive playground to honor their son’s life, as they recognized Shane’s disability would have prevented him from playing with other children in a traditional sandbox.
Shane’s Inspiration reached a major milestone in 2000 when the first universally accessible playground in California was built in Griffith Park.
To date, the non-profit organization has developed 56 inclusive playgrounds around the world, including seven international locations, and has directly served more than 35,000 children through education and community outreach programs.
“This is far beyond anything we imagined when we set out to build that first playground in Shane’s memory,” Williams explained. “It all started with Shane. He was born to deliver a simple message of inclusion and compassion, and he fulfilled his legacy in a very short amount of time.”
On Sunday morning, Shane’s Inspiration will host the 19th annual Walk & Roll at Griffith Park.
Emmy award-winning actor Jon Cryer will serve as the Grand Marshal, and Williams will emcee the event.
“Nineteen years, 18 Walk-Rolls and 60-plus playgrounds later, the cause of inclusive play has taken on a life of it’s own,” Williams added. “Our biggest takeaway each year is getting to see the smiles on the kids and their families [faces], who benefit most from the parks and programs [Shane] continues to inspire.”
Celebrities who are expected to come out in support of the tribute to Shane include Wallace Langham, Brian Dietzen, Pauley Perrette, Steve Valentine, Ravi Kapoor, Meera Simhan, Joan Ryan, Lynn Ferguson, James Anderson and Carissa Rosario.
For more information about the event, click here.
As for the future of Shane’s Inspiration, the native New Yorker dreams of uniting children of all abilities in Central Park.
“We’ve had prospects come and go, but we know we’ll find the right partners at some point to make it happen,” Williams remarked. “A Shane’s Inspiration Walk-Roll in Central Park, resulting in an inclusive playground for kids of all abilities, would be pretty amazing.”