BBQ to raise funds for ‘Charlie’s Playground’

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Family and friends of Charlie Fernandez, the former Saddlewood Elementary student who passed away at seven years old from neuroblastoma, have embarked on a major project to build an all-abilities playground in her honor. The playground will be for all children and features an area for those with visual impairments. Charlie’s Playground will be built by the organization Where Angels Play and many local volunteers in the spring of 2023.

Friends and family have organized a summer pig roast and barbecue featuring The Big Body Butcher, a Capital Region top-quality butcher, to help raise funds for the project. They are working to surpass a fundraising goal of $100,000.

The event will be family-friendly and will feature top-quality foods including a pig roast using Berkshire pigs, and hamburgers made from locally-sourced beef, chicken, and hotdogs. There will also be a bounce house, pony rides, a lemonade stand, and other events throughout the day. Meals will be $25 for adults and $10 for children.

“We are thrilled that this project is moving forward and there will soon be a playground for children of all abilities. This event coincides with Charlie’s birthday and is something she would truly love. She continues to bring joy to our world and shine bright through this incredible project,“ said Danielle Fernandez, Charlie’s Mom.

The barbecue fundraiser has been scheduled for August 13, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Midway Fire Department. Tickets can be purchased at the event or until they run out by calling (518) 608-5484 or emailing

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