Help build a playground in Waveland - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Help build a playground in Waveland

Where Angels Play playground. (Image source: Where Angels Play Facebook page) Where Angels Play playground. (Image source: Where Angels Play Facebook page)
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

A retired New Jersey Firefighter who has strong ties to the Coast is turning tragedy into hope and healing. Through his foundation, Where Angels Play he plans to bring his next project to Waveland.
 
"I'm here today to ask the city's permission or blessing to allow us to redo Elwood Bourgeois playground in honor of the Bane family," explained Tammy Raymond, Project Co-Organizer and North Bay Elementary School Teacher.

It's a heart-warming story organizers said when the project is completed it will come full circle. It all began after the 9/11 terrorists attacks, when some Bay St. Louis Elementary School students sent letters of condolences to the New Jersey firefighters, who lost a number of their heroic brothers when the twin towers came down.
 
"Those New Jersey firemen came to us after Hurricane Katrina and built us a playground," said Raymond.
 
"We felt like we had made a little bit of a difference," remarked Bill Lavin, Founder of the Where Angels Play Foundation.

After Super-Storm Sandy students in the Bay wanted to pay that playground favor forward. They sent Christmas gifts to the families of the firefighters devastated on the Jersey shore.
 
WLOX Reporter Al Showers covered that story three years ago. It was this letter from a students that inspired now retired New Jersey firefighter Bill Lavin to start the Where Angels Play Foundation.
 
"Dear New Jersey Firemen thank you so much for building the playground I played on for three years. I know you did a lot to help us during Hurricane Katrina and now we're helping you. We're sending gifts to you because you sent a bigger gift. I'm not talking about the playground, I'm talking about the gift of you caring so much about us," wrote third grader Karli Coyne.
 
His first project was to build 26 playgrounds around the northeast in honor of the 26 children and teachers killed in the Sandy Hook School Shootings in Connecticut.
 
Lavin plans to build his next playground in Waveland in honor of a family that lost four members during Hurricane Katrina. The children 13 and 15-year-olds Carl and Edgar Bane.
 
"There are no words that can explain it. So much happiness, so much happiness," said Laura Bane, who is Carl and Edgar's oldest sister.
 
Every piece of the playground equipment inside of Elwood Bourgeois Park will be torn down and replaced with brand new state of the art playground equipment. Everything will go with the exception of the basketball court.

"So out of this tragedy there is hope and healing going on," said Lavin.

Lavin estimates it will cost between $100,000 and $120,000 to build the playground. The plan is to have it ready for children to play on by the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in August of this year.
 
You can make an online donation to the Waveland playground project by clicking on: whereangelsplayfoundation.org
 
To contact the foundation founder Bill Lavin call 732-858-1726.

To make a donation here at home, you're asked to contact CPA Gerald Rigby at 228-304-0259.

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