WESTFIELD, NJ — Local Scouts are helping to plan a memorial to honor the Westfield High School teenager who died in 2017 when she was hit by an off-duty state trooper driving on Central Avenue.
Standing in Cub Scout uniform while a den leader held up a sign stating “Terry’s Lil’ Library,” pack members presented plans to the Board of Recreation for covered bookshelves that will serve as little library and two benches that would be placed in a playground proposed for Sycamore Field. The memorial would honor the late Terry DiFalco. She was 14.
“This is an area that Terry grew up in and around, and we want to honor her in that playground by providing a couple of features and piggy-backing on the upgrades that are already being done to the playground,” said Barry Obsgarten, a friend of the family who is helping to organize the effort.
Students at Westfield High School, who were Terry’s peers, are now seniors at the high school and would be fundraising for the project, Obsgarten said. “We’ll be fundraising through that class,” he said.
Community members also hope to install a garden area with a pumpkin patch, Obsgarten said. The intent is to donate the pumpkins, Obsgarten said. Sycamore Field is a 1.5-acre municipal park located off of Central Avenue.
“There’s going to be a lending library that is going to be in the theme of dogs because she loved dogs,” he said. “We’re going to carry that through.”
While presented by cub scouts at the meeting, Obsgarten noted the effort is being strongly supported by local girl scout troops, one of which Terry participated in.
The lending library could join a series of book exchanges known as“Little Free Libraries” that allow people to take and leave books as they wish.
The concept plans for the memorial now head to the Town Council for consideration.
Work on the project, if approved, would start in the late summer or early fall, Recreation Director Don Bogardus said.
Obsgarten told TAPinto Westfield that while the project won't start until later this year, the public can expect fundraising for the effort to start sooner.
“Even though the project won’t start until the summer, we will be doing fundraising starting soon,” he said.
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