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Dedication Ceremony Set For Dylan Hockley Playground In Westport

The new playground at Westport's Long Lots School was built in memory of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley, one of the 26 Sandy Hook victims.
The new playground at Westport's Long Lots School was built in memory of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley, one of the 26 Sandy Hook victims. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
The Dylan Hockley memorial playground at Long Lots School will officially be dedicated in a ceremony planned for Saturday.
The Dylan Hockley memorial playground at Long Lots School will officially be dedicated in a ceremony planned for Saturday. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

(UPDATE) WESTPORT, Conn. – The new playground built behind Westport’s Long Lots School in memory of Sandy Hook victim Dylan Hockley will officially be dedicated during a ceremony Saturday at noon, Westport Deputy Fire Chief Robert Kepchar announced.

The playground is the fourth of 26 to be built in Hurricane Sandy-affected communities in the tri-state area in memory of a Sandy Hook victim. The playgrounds are being built through The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play project , an initiative created by the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association.

Construction on the Long Lots playground broke ground last Friday in the rain. Volunteers consisted of Westport firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel; members of the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association; the Hockley family; Giordano Construction Co.; Westport Public Works Department; as well as Westport teachers; Long Lots PTA members; and others in the community, Kepchar said.

A.J. Penna & Son, Kowalsky Brothers Inc. and Gault Energy also helped with playground construction by donating personnel, equipment and materials, Kepchar said. Fairway Market provided volunteers with food during the build, he added.

“This project was truly blessed from its inception and is a tribute to the life of Dylan,” Kepchar said in a statement.

As the playground was built at no cost to the town, Westport residents are asked to pay it forward and help fund the cost of the remaining playgrounds by supporting the Sandy Ground project. Donations can be made online on the Sandy Ground project website .

To read more about Dylan's playground, see this story published by The Westport Daily Voice on June 7.

The three other completed playgrounds, located in Ansonia, Sea Bright, N.J., and Union Beach, N.J., were built in memory of Catherine Hubbard, Anne Marie Murphy and Jack Pinto. Construction on a playground dedicated to Victoria Soto will break ground Saturday morning in Stratford. A playground in memory of Jessica Rekos is planned for Fairfield.

(This story was updated to reflect a change in the ceremony start time. The ceremony was reschedule from 11 a.m. to noon)

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