Playground built to remember Foster | SummitDaily.com
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Playground built to remember Foster

GEORGETOWN – A year and a half have passed since the death of Georgetown toddler Foster Knox Alspaugh, and his parents Kimberly Knox and Daren Alspaugh are letting go of their pain this weekend by pounding nails in Foster’s memory.The couple and scores of volunteers from Summit County and Georgetown began work Wednesday on Foster’s Place, a community playground in Georgetown City Park.Two-year-old Foster was “a really happy-go-lucky kid,” according to his mother, a former Summit County resident. He loved trains, would climb up anything and was quite a little talker.”He was a charmer,” Knox said. “He would say, ‘You look beautiful, Mom.’ He said ‘Hi’ to everyone.”Three weeks before his third birthday, Foster inexplicably stopped breathing and died in his sleep.”We were incapacitated for four or five months,” Knox said. “We didn’t really eat well or sleep at all. We were just sad, sad, sad.””I could sit around and do nothing and be sad all day, but this is a much more positive way to use my energy and my grief. It’s very healing – not only for me, but also for the other members of the community who also felt the loss,” Knox said.A friend first suggested the project shortly after Foster’s death when Knox and Alspaugh were opening hundreds of cards and letters, many of which contained money.”We wanted to do something with it that would be a fitting tribute to him – something that would be positive and benefit all the kids in the town,” Knox said.The community rallied around the cause, raising additional funds for the playground. Churches collected money, Georgetown Elementary School held a loose change drive and the library association donated $1 for every hour of reading during the summer reading program. A Great Outdoors Colorado grant of $68,000 matched the community’s fundraising efforts for the $150,000 project.The community contracted with the nationally known playground design firm Robert Leathers and Associates, the same company that designed the Frisco Funground at Frisco Elementary School.The ADA-accessible design for Foster’s Place includes several features tailored to Foster’s personality and to the Georgetown community.”Foster loved trains, so we have a train kids can pretend to drive. He loved climbing, so we’re going to have a climbing wall. You can climb up the wall and then go down into a silver mine through a tire tunnel,” Knox said.The playground will be built almost entirely by community volunteers, and Knox and Alspaugh are hoping Summit County residents will join in the effort. Knox has a job for every skill level.”We have the fourth-grade students soaping screws so they’ll go into the wood faster,” she said. “One shift helps us out a lot.”Volunteers are working in four-hour shifts now through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Knox is aiming to finish the construction by 6 p.m. on Sunday.”We’re really excited for Foster’s little sister Chloe. This will be a way she and her friends can learn about him and grow up with him,” Knox said.For information on Foster’s Place and volunteer opportunities during construction this week, visit http://www.fostersplace.org.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at jsutor@summitdaily.com.


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