February 16th, 2013
08:19 PM ET

Playgrounds in storm areas memorialize Newtown victims

A reference to the name "Sandy" can evoke painful reminders of last year's tragedies, be it the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School or an historic storm that wiped out thousands of homes and businesses, and left millions in the dark.

But New Jersey's largest firefighters union is looking to honor those affected by both calamities and join them and their mutual names into something more positive.

Firefighters have begun collecting donations for the "The Sandy Ground Project," with 26 playgrounds to be built in communities recovering from the storm - one for each victim gunned down on December 14 at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

"Our only challenge is to raise the money," said Bill Lavin, president of the Firefighters' Mutual Benevolent Association, whose 5,000 members are supporting the $2.1 million initiative on the website thesandygroundproject.org.

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Filed under: Connecticut • New Jersey • New York
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