“Avery’s Playground” Unveiled at Lakeland Hills Park
Before Avery was diagnosed with DIPG in the summer of 2015, she loved to play at the park. It didn’t matter which park, if there was a playground or grass, she would play on it.
But her favorite park to play was Lakeland Hills Park, just around the corner from our house.
One of the last videos of Avery, before her diagnosis, was her climbing the monkey bars at Lakeland Hills Park.
Less than a week later, she was diagnosed with DIPG and shortly after, she was confined to a wheelchair, unable to play on the playground, really, anywhere.
After her passing, our wonderful Lakeland Hills Community, spearheaded by our friends, the Padurs, and numerous other families, raised funds to have a bench at Lakeland Hills Park installed, with a plaque on the bench, honoring Avery.
In September 2017, the bench was installed and a dedication at the park was held.
In April of 2018, a new play structure was built by the community and several friends and family members of Avery, replacing the old structure on the playground where Avery spent many afternoons.
Over the next year, the community again raised funds to have the structure named in Avery’s honor, with a sign installed.
On Saturday, April 20th, 2019, a day after Avery would have turned 10.5, “Avery’s Playground” was unveiled to the Lakeland Hills community and the City of Auburn, the sign revealed by Avery’s older brother, Cade, and younger sister, Addison.
City of Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus was joined by Miss Auburn and Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen, members of the Lakeland Hills and Auburn community as well as the Untouchables 13U baseball team, which Avery’s brother, Cade plays, along with friends and family of Avery, to unveil the “Avery’s Playground” sign, permanently installed at Lakeland Hills Park, not far from the bench bearing Avery’s name, and looking out into the playground.
The sign features our favorite picture of Avery, taken on Easter Sunday 2015, the same picture on her headstone, with a short synopsis of who Avery was, how she impacted the community and how the community supported her during her fight and since her passing as well as the establishment of the Avery Huffman Defeat DIPG Foundation, with the website address and foundation logo featured prominently.
Our hope is that this playground and play structure, Avery’s Playground, will be enjoyed by families and generations to come, with the same joy and happiness in which Avery had when she played in the playground.
And we are once again, so thankful and grateful for the love and support from the Lakeland Hills Community, from the City of Auburn, our friends and family, all who raised the support for the signage, the structure and the bench, and continue to honor our little girl.