Residents of Malvern, Pennsylvania may have noticed their new playground with the bright yellow drawings around the slide. Or maybe the zip line, bright purple swings and turquoise rubber floor.
But what makes it stand out the most is why it was built.
On May 9 and 10, Kenilworth Local 135 members gathered with Bill Lavin, founder of the Where Angels Play Foundation to build a playground in honor of six-year-old Julia Bitto, who passed away last year from a rare form of brain cancer.
“It’s a very special time for the family to be involved,” said NJSPBA Fifth Vice President Mike Freeman, who helped Local 135 members with the build. “They feel a sense of accomplishment. They feel a part of it and the entire community basically helps us, so that’s a great feeling.”
Julia’s playground was crafted specifically to reflect her personality, including her favorite colors, activities she loved to do and her own artwork and words featured throughout the park.
And on the sidewalk at the entrance are her family’s handprints to add a special touch.
“We help people heal,” Freeman said of Where Angels Plan. “And to be able to see that and make the playground come to life and see the way they lived live on in the community, it’s just an incredible feeling to be a part of that that build.”