Waveland Playground Dedicated to Family Members Lost in Katrina

Volunteers from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey have made their way to Waveland, where they are hard at work building a new playground. The playground is a dedication to four members of a Waveland family who passed away during Hurricane Katrina.
Volunteers have been working hard since yesterday morning to build a new playground in Waveland. The playground is a memorial for four members of the Bane family, who passed away during Katrina. Laura Bane said, “Unfortunately, my sister couldn’t be here to put her hand prints. So, I put two of them, one for her and one for me. I put her initials on one and my initials on another.”
Laura lost her parents, Edgar and Christina, as well as her two little brothers, Edgar Jr. and Carl, both of whom were mentally handicapped and autistic.
Co-Chairperson for the Mississippi Autism Advisory Committee Sherry Ponders say autism has risen over 600 percent in the last 10 to 12 years in Mississippi. The Bane family built this park to raise autism awareness and give children a place to play. “You don’t have to be judged. You don’t have to get talked about or made fun of. This is a place for all children to come and just express their feelings and be happy and play and not worry about what people say about them,” said Laura.
Volunteers traveled from as far away as New Jersey to help piece together the memorial, including some firefighters with big hearts. Bill Lavin, founder of ‘Where Angels Play’ Foundation, said, “We’re firefighters from New Jersey that responded to the World Trade Center tragedy. Little third grade classmates sent us cards and letters to cheer us up. So, when the hurricane hit and the schools were destroyed, we felt the need to pay it forward to them.”
The playground cost $140,000 to build. Laura Bane tells News 25 the support she has received during this project is priceless. “There are no words to express how grateful and appreciative I am for them helping us do this.”
The ribbon cutting for the playground will be this Sunday.
The city is also adding a splash pad, basketball court and a tennis court to the park.

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