Newly constructed playground to honor father, daughter who died

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CLARK -

An organization born out of the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting is constructing a new playground to honor a New Jersey father and daughter who died.

The Where Angles Play Foundation builds playgrounds to help people cope with loss, and honor the memories of their loved ones.

The foundation's 51st playground is now under construction in Clark, where it will honor the memory of Caitlin and Jim Nelson. Jim was a Port Authority police officer killed during the Sept. 11 attacks, while helping rescue people out of the World Trade Center. Caitlin died suddenly at just 20 years old while away at college in Connecticut in 2017.

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"We believe Jim and Caitlin are together and they are inspiring us to do additional work,” says Where Angels Play founder Bill Lavin.

The organization not only builds new playgrounds, but it also fixes up old ones. The playground that used to sit in Clark was disassembled, refurbished and then shipped to Puerto Rico to help neighborhoods badly hit by Hurricane Maria.

Caitlin’s sister Anne Nelson says that the new playground will have an extra-special connection to her sister.

"Caitlin actually worked with some of the families of the Newtown victims and so she didn't know the victims themselves but she knew the families and those playgrounds were built for all of those victims so it all comes full circle."

A formal dedication ceremony is scheduled to be held at the playground in Clark on May 11.

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