Little Angels Splash Pad Dedication Set for June 3
May 30, 2017 07:00AM ● Published by Marjorie Turner Hollman
Putting the finishing touches...
There is a brand-new reason to visit Silver Lake this summer: the Little Angels splash pad is now open and ready for visitors. The official opening celebration takes place Saturday, June 3, with a rain date of Sunday, June 4, 1-4 PM, and the official dedication will take place at 2PM. Limited food will be offered during this celebration, with live music by local musician Jamie Barrett, kids’ activities, and of course, the main attraction, the splash pad, which will be up and running.
The splash pad, located adjacent to the playground near the swimming beach, has bollards that will activate the water spray for a few minutes when tapped. The non-slip surface and absence of standing water make this a safe environment for children (and adults!) of all ages to safely enjoy. The original plans for the playground at Silver Lake included a splash pad, but the feature was never installed because of lack of funds.
The just-finished project is the result of a widespread community response to a local family’s grief over the sudden loss of their twin, Alex, who died of SIDS at 44 days old in May of 2015, leaving behind his twin, Ben, and three other siblings, Matt, Sophie and Kaitlyn, as well as their parents, Wendy and Jon Shaw of Bellingham. When the Shaw family approached the selectmen about their idea of raising funds to provide a splash pad at Silver Lake in memory of Alex, the project was quickly approved and is now a reality.
In reflecting on the success of the fundraising effort, Wendy noted, “The Little Angels Splash Pad would not have been possible without the help and support from many, many people. A big thanks goes out to My Splash Pad for donating the custom ladybug feature and for their donation of time and expertise to design and install the pad and safety surface (at cost), and to Harris and Company Landscape, who donated their time and expertise to design and install the hardscape (at cost). Thanks to Asphalt Engineering and Signs by Cam for their in-kind donations of asphalt and a sign, respectively.
Special thanks also goes out to our local business sponsors for their support, including M. Weisman Roofing Co, Regional Industrial Services Corp, Marty's Auto Service, Bellingham Towing, Charlie's Tire & Service Center, Inc and Prestige Scientific Staffing, Inc. We were honored to be a part of Sean Perkins’s Eagle Scout project, which brings new picnic tables and benches to the splash pad area. And finally, thanks to the hundreds of friends, families, and businesses that made this project possible, including all of the children who helped us raise funds in their own unique and creative ways. All of my helpers have given me the gift of their experience and time.”
The Shaw family is looking forward to sharing this gift at Silver Lake Beach with the wider community. Wendy explained, “We were overwhelmed and humbled by all the generosity and support we received from family, friends and the Bellingham community after Alex passed away, helping us through the darkest of our days, so we decided the splash pad would be a nice way to give something back to our community and would be a nice way to memorialize Alex's short life. Our older kids have always enjoyed playing in splash pads and we know Alex would have loved it too; it just brings them such happiness to run carefree through the water. It is our hope that cooling off in the splash pad will bring joy to many local kids over many years, and with essentially no standing water (just water spraying around) it is accessible to kids of virtually all ages and abilities.”
Donations are still welcome to provide a fund for continued necessary maintenance in the coming years. Payments can be made via credit card two ways: PayPal.Me/LittleAngelsSplash or https://www.crowdrise.com/splashpadforalex. For a tax deductible donation, checks made out to the town of Bellingham Splash Pad Fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 752, Bellingham, MA 02019.