PARKLAND, FL — For Andrew Pollack, the loss of his daughter Meadow Pollack in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy has spurred him to focus his energies on improving school safety and build a playground to honor his daughter.
"I had a vision of, instead of going to the cemetery, I wanted to do something that Meadow would have liked to go to, Pollack said. "I had a vision of sitting in the playground, on a bench, the most spectacular playground that you could imagine, sitting in the playground with trees and shade and watching the kids play. That’s the vision that I had. A really unbelievably playground that all of the kids in town will want to be in. A place where I can go and meditate and think of my daughter.
"It won’t be an ordinary playground, it will be a playground built for a princess, like my Meadow," he said.
Pollack said many people have asked him how they can help him and have offered to pay for hotel rooms, food, travel and more, as he has traveled to Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee in his quest to help secure Parkland's schools.
"To be honest, I haven't really needed that type of help," he said. "On the other hand, one thing I could use some help with is to help build 'Meadow's Garden & Playground' in our local community. This would give me a place to visit frequently and watch kids be happy as they enjoy a place dedicated to my little girl."
Many teams are lending support and helping to raise funds. "I’ve coached the lacrosse team for St. Thomas for nine seasons and the boys came up with the idea that they were going to dedicate this season to Meadow and they decided that they were going to make shirts. They said that they were going to play for Meadow this season. And now it’s just taking off — other teams are reaching out and they want to get involved. Teams can go to www.playformeadow.com to submit a request for artwork," he said.
His goal is to raise o$1 million to build the park. The park will be open to the public. Coral Springs Chabad is donating approximately 10,000 square feet of land for the park.
"I want people to support me in making this vision come true...There will be water features — everything. I envision camps going there in the summer — they’ll take trips there. I want the park to be full of kids and that’s where I want to go to remember my daughter."
People wishing to donate can go to www.remembermeadow.com
As for Pollack's mission to secure our schools, he said, "It’s a crusade for school safety and people can reach out [through www.remembermeadow.com] to be in touch. There’s strength in numbers, I’ve learned when it comes to lawmakers .. People aren’t aware of the decisions that lawmakers make on their behalf and they need to be made aware. I want to ensure that our representatives have the best interests of their constituents in mind."
"Everyone who is praying, it’s definitely working. I can’t even tell you the energy that I have — I can feel it coming. I want to be able to help the people — that’s my mission," Pollack said.