NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- Though winter is around the corner, a citizens committee in North Tonawanda is thinking ahead to spring with a special garden and walkway they hope to have constructed by then.
"When my wife and I were still teaching school there was a tragic accident in Canada in which two children, two young children were killed," said North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas.
Those children went to Starpoint Central School, where Pappas taught several years ago.
"It kind of hit home because it was where we worked," said Pappas.
Years later, he never forgot it and wants to be sure others don't either. Pappas, along with a special committee, has proposed a Children's Memorial Remembrance Garden and Walkway, to pay tribute to anyone who has lost a child.
"I'm hoping that maybe people will donate a bench or donate a tree, or a plant, or even a plaque in memory of their loved one," Children's Remembrance Memorial Garden Committee co-chair MaryBeth Kupiec said.
The Memorial Garden would be in Brauer Park across from City Hall. The garden has already been designed, but it's going to take more than $30,000 to make it happen.
"It's digging up the dirt and starting to go so we're hoping that this winter we can do some fund-raising events to start fundraising for the garden," said Kupiec.
Kupiec and fellow co-chair Paula Benedyczak know all too well what it feels like to lose a child. They both lost their sons, Brandon and Jordan, unexpectedly.
"They're a part of you everyday, you don't ever want your child to be forgotten," said Kupiec.
"That's my biggest thing I never want people to forget Jordan," said Benedyczak.
They hope anyone trying to cope with a loss could find comfort in the Memorial Garden. The committee hopes to have it constructed and completed by the spring.