SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — The future of a popular inclusive fitness organization for children is now up in the air with the news of Swansea Mall’s inevitable closure.
WiggleKids has been located at the Swansea Mall for seven years. The organization offers more than 20 programs per week and services hundreds of children of all ages and abilities.
“It’s hard to have a bad day when you’re working with them,” Lead Coach at WiggleKids Nicole Chagnon said with a smile. “You can have the worst morning, come in and see these people and it’s all over.”
But with the Swansea Mall closing for good on March 31, the non-profit is now searching for a brand new home.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions the last few weeks. It’s been heartbreaking for many to see this come to an end,” WiggleKids Studio Manager Ashley Birong said. “We’re working as hard as we can to meet with people and find out what is possible moving forward.”
WiggleKids is not alone. Several tenants at the Swansea Mall are scrambling to find a new space. Prior to the mall’s announcement of the closure, Macy’s, a longtime tenant of the Swansea Mall, announced that the department store chain plans to close its location there.
This past Sunday, WiggleKids held one final group class as they plan to close their current location on March 1. The class was a fundraiser to help raise money for a new space and a vehicle to transport their equipment.
“To move on, it’s something we definitely need help with, in finding the location and funding,” Birong said.
Since the fundraiser, Birong said they received an outpouring of support.
“Everybody has been showing their support between our families and people we have never even heard of before,” she said.
WiggleKids hopes to find a new permanent location as soon as possible. The organization plans to continue operating programs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts until they find a new location for their main studio.
“We are working to find that perfect location,” Birong said. “We’re taking in whatever comes our way and looking to see if it’s something we can use.”
The organization created a GoFundMe page to collect donations that will fund their new space and transport vehicle.