PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A labor of love in North Philadelphia. The city on Thursday dedicated a park in memory of a family whose lives were tragically cut short.
It’s been years in the making, but finally, a little makeshift lot known as the playground at 11th and Venango in North Philadelphia has a new name and a much deeper meaning to this community.READ MORE: CBS3 Mysteries: Detectives Searching For Man They Believe Can Help Solve Santino Thomas' Murder Case
“I’m grateful and happy that they did this playground for my family,” Rochelle Blackson, the victim’s sister, said.
The playground now known as the Williams Moore Reed Memorial Park honors the memory of Keisha Williams and three of her children, 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrance Williams Moore. They were all tragically struck and killed by a carjacked vehicle in July 2014.
The family had set up a stand on the sidewalk at Germantown and Allegheny Avenue, selling fruit to raise money for a playground in their community.
Williams’s sister, Blackson, reflected on what this day would have meant to all of them.
“She would have loved it. They all would have loved the playground because that was the type of work they were doing, to raise money,” she said.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Borough Council Launches Independent Investigation Into Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
City officials, the Parks and Recreation Department and several private partnerships helped to fund this plan and transform this space.
“We’re here because kids deserve this and this is what we should be doing every single day, is transforming spaces for the future of our city and lifting up our communities in the process,” Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said.
“The reality is we need it in this neighborhood,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
Although Williams and her children didn’t live to see this day happen, their dream lives on in the lives of kids who will enjoy this park for decades to come.
This is just the first phase of this $800,000 project.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old Man Killed In Double Shooting Inside Port Richmond Home, Police Say
The second phase will begin in the coming months and will include new basketball courts with lighting and fencing as well as walking trails and a tricycle track as well.