New playground honors spearfishing accident victim

Group building memorial playgrounds across US

Bill Lavin is a retired New Jersey firefighter who now builds playgrounds across the country in honor of young people who died to soon. His group “Where Angels Play” started by building playgrounds for the victims in the Sandy Hook shooting.

“The playgrounds celebrate who they were not necessarily how they left us,” said Lavin.

He recently heard about the Ditmar family in Sarasota County. Christopher and Jared were brothers who both died at a young age. Christopher died in 2001 after a battle with leukemia and Jarrod died in a spearfishing accident.

Lavin and his crew are building a playground on Lido Beach in memory of the boys. They plan to design it with the boys favorite colors in mind.

Robert Ditmars said his family was excited about the opportunity to honor his boys.

"To have a legacy here for my two sons, you can’t ask for much more,” said Ditmar.

The family is having a fundraiser this Saturday afternoon at Evies on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota.

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