Help Capture Leo’s Spirit


Leo in his favorite playground, Fall 2010

Leo Israel was the kind of kid you liked being around. When I remember Leo, as I like to do, I picture him during a chance meeting at East Avenue Café in Larchmont during which he showed off a big new find – a toilet-shaped candy… with a lollipop plunger.

For a little boy, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Leo was just 5 1/2-years old when he passed away from cancer last July, leaving a big hole in so many hearts around here. But the way Leo and his family embraced life during his 10-month battle with illness, and in the time since, is a true testament to Leo’s amazing spirit.

We all now have the chance to help capture – and share – Leo’s take on life by helping to overhaul a place Leo truly loved: the Larchmont Temple Nursery School playground.

As Leo’s family describes it, the playground “will be a place for everyone who was touched by Leo to visit and feel close to him. A place filled with happy voices and laughing kids.  A place to remember. Leo would be thrilled to know that he helped to make this playground even better for his friends and teachers.”

Through the Leo Israel Memorial Fund, which can be accessed via its website, donations can be made to support the effort to rebuild the playground by the time school starts in September 2012.

With your help, the Israel family will be able to fulfill its goal of spreading the joy Leo found in the playground as a Larchmont Temple preschooler.

Even the construction of the new playground will be a moment to relish. The plan is to have members of the community literally put the pieces of the new playground in place in June, almost like a barn raising.

“We imagine an amazing place that kids will love for years to come, where Leo’s incredible spirit will live on,”  write parents Caitlin and David on the website.

For more information visit Donations also may be sent to: Leo Israel Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 295, Larchmont, NY 10538.


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