CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — More than $400,000 in donations, grants and promises of services and equipment have been raised for a memorial park to honor the victims of a 2012 northeast Ohio school shooting.
Supporters had hoped to raise $318,000 for the 17-acre Chardon Living Memorial Park, which will honor the three students killed and several others injured during a shooting at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012.
“It’s amazing how people are so generous,” said Dina Parmertor, whose son Danny was one of the students killed. “It’s touching.”
The memorial includes play and fitness equipment, a renovated half-mile trail through an adjacent wooded area, plaques and a 10-foot tall statue titled “Echoes of the Heart.” Two current facilities will become part of the park and a pavilion behind an adjacent elementary school will be renovated.
Some plaques will honor the students who were killed. Another will honor the survivors and one will honor first responders.
City Manager Randy Sharpe said the park is also for the entire community who lived through the ordeal, not just the slain.
“People can go there and remember, but there’s also the ability to get in shape and celebrate life,” he said.
University Hospitals is donating $20,000, the Cleveland Foundation is donating $25,000 and The Chardon Rotary gave $30,000.
Volunteers say extra money could be used for improvements or to establish a maintenance fund.
City officials are reviewing plans and hope to start construction in mid-September.
T.J. Lane pleaded guilty to the shootings, which killed Danny Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin and Russell King Jr. He’s serving three life sentences.