By Hank McCoy
A playground dedicated to Meadow Pollack, slain during the Parkland shooting, has broken ground at the Chabad of Coral Springs.
The Pollack family, with the help of the community, built the Princess Meadow Playground at Betty Stradling Park on January 4, and it will be located at a place where the family has found guidance and community over the years.
Hunter Pollack, the brother of Meadow, is humbled by the second memorial erected in Meadow’s name and said it fills their family’s hearts knowing that children are finding joy in them.
“It’s uplifting and feels amazing because my family is leaving something behind in a city we truly love, and it’s something that represents exactly who Meadow was.”
Meadow’s faith was important to her, and Hunter explained the significance of the playground is to give back to the Jewish community — and that all are welcome.
Rabbi Friedman of the Chabad of Coral Springs has been a close friend of the family for many years, welcoming them into his home for Shabbat, and standing by them after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
Friedman expressed the importance of the playground, not just as a memorial, but as a way to show the importance of reaching children at a young age to effect positive change in the world.
“When changing society for the better you must start with the children,” Friedman explained, “The effort and energy we put into a child (seed) is so important, it affects the entire growth of the tree as it begins to blossom and produce fruit for others to benefit.”
According to Rabbi Friedman, the playground will be ready for children to enjoy within a month, and he hopes to use it to show them the synagogue isn’t only a place of learning and prayer, but also a place of joy and fun.
“Especially with the playground being in memory of Meadow, who had such positive energy. She was full of happiness and joy, so to combine the two together…that’s a great achievement,” Rabbi Friedman said.
Located on the southwest side of the Chabad of Coral Springs at 3945 N University Drive, the playground was funded through the Pollack family’s nonprofit along with the help from Butters Construction and Ellemar Luxury Construction owned by Marc Rothenberg. The Pollack family preferred not to disclose the total cost.
The playground will be equipped with slides and plenty of steps and metal bars for children to play on.
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- Hank McCoy is a writer and journalist covering music, politics, and culture on his blog Hank’s Luncheonette, as well as currently working on publishing his first novel. Hank grew up in Parkland and graduated from FAU before moving to Chicago where he worked in the music industry as an artist and talent booker when he wasn’t throwing people out of punk bars. Hank recently moved back to South Florida after living overseas in Berlin while he traveled to Europe.
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