Bring an Autism Sensory Gym to Vancouver, WA

My name is Vicky Wirkkala. Last fall my son was diagnosed with high functioning autism, sensory processing disorder, and mild anxiety. After a 3 month wait, we finally were able to start occupational therapy for him. During our second visit, while my husband and I observed his interactions with his therapist in their sensory gym, my husband said to me, “Why don’t they have places like this where anybody can come without a diagnosis or referral? It would benefit so many kids.” At that moment something sparked in me and I knew this was what I was meant to do.

Local play places for children, such as Kid’s Club and Dizzy Castle, are less than ideal for the autistic and sensory sensitive, community.  They have loud compressors running, areas that are difficult to climb and are not easily accessible for parents who may need to help their child along if needed.

Children who are sensory sensitive or on the autism spectrum need a place that fosters their very unique needs.  So, I started investigating what it might take to get a place like this going.  I found an amazing franchise opportunity that caters to these specific needs in an all-inclusive sensory friendly indoor play gum. You do not have to have special needs, or have a diagnosis, in order to come and play. This means all friends and family of the child with sensitivities can come and play together.

The hold back at this point is funding. The initial franchise fee is $50,000, plus another $70K-$120K for the construction and building to complete the facility. In order to get the funds to make this business happen for our area, my first move is to fundraise.

Unfortunately, I am faced with the challenge that I cannot use the name or logo of the franchise in my fundraising endeavors since I do not have licensing rights to them until after papers are signed. All fundraising must be free of association with them.

The community of Vancouver, as well as surrounding areas, would greatly benefit from an all-inclusive play space.

Thank you for reading my story and considering donating to this amazing cause. If you'd like to donate $5,000 or more, or are interested in becoming an investor, please contact me directly at If you are unable to donate, please share so that the Vancouver and surrounding areas can enjoy this wonderful opportunity.


  • Jeff Bushaw 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Laura Giambalvo 
    • $20 
    • 10 mos


Vicky Wirkkala 
Vancouver, WA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more