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Olivia's Playground
Olivia's Playground
Posted on 04/16/2018
Olivia's Playground sign stands at the Leicester Elementary School playground.Damon Landreth, Kimberly Baker Landreth, and Chad Upton cut the ribbon for Olivia's Playground.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

The wind wafted gently across the Leicester Elementary School (LES) playground Friday afternoon as Leicester families and community members gathered to remember a wonderful little girl who touched many lives.

The school dedicated its playground to Olivia Hope Landreth, a 9-year-old student who passed away last May after a long battle with a congenital heart condition. Her parents, Damon and Kimberly Baker Landreth, cut a ribbon to unveil two beautiful dedication signs. Leicester Volunteer Fire Department, SignServ LLC, and numerous other businesses and organizations, donated materials, labor, and time to the project.

“We wanted to make sure that we made a place for Olivia and her legacy, both at this school and in this larger community,” said LES Principal Chad Upton. “We’ve worked for about a year to make something meaningful and thoughtful.”

Olivia was known as outgoing, hopeful, and eager to learn more about the world, Upton said. She loved reading, basketball, and riding the bus. She even had a school bus dedicated to her.

“For Olivia and her family, every single day was a day to find the best that you possibly could,” Upton said to the gathered crowd. “When you bring your child or grandchild out here one day after school or on the weekend, I hope you’ll think about Olivia.”

Leicester Elementary School, like many rural and small-town schools, serves as the center of its community, he added.

“There’s an identity here,” he said. “There’s no town council, no police department, no business center. This school right here is the jewel of the community. Long after I’m gone, this place will still mean something to the community.”

Children and parents will spend time together there, at Olivia’s Playground, and their joy will honor her memory.

Thanks to SignServ LLC, the Sandy Mush 4-H Club, Leicester Baptist Church, Kottler Metals, Blue Ridge Sign Supply, Wood Working Design, Leicester Supply, and Andy Oxy Co. for donating materials and time for the project.
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