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Hannah's Memorial Playground dedication honors life of young girl taken too soon

Hannah's playground
Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 11:15:13-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday marked the official dedication of Hannah's Memorial Playground.

The new recreational area at the George W. Julian school 57 is in honor of Hannah Crutchfield — a young girl taken from this east side community way too soon.

8-year-old Samantha is remembering her best friend Hannah.

“She always had a bright personality and when [we were] in a bad mood she would just put a smile on our face. She made everybody feel happy inside, even when they felt really down," Samantha said.

First-grader Hannah died in September 2021.

While she was walking home from school, a driver hit Hannah with their car in a crosswalk.

Saturday, her spirit is alive in the Irvington community.

“That’s something that we all remember her by is playing after school on the playground with her before she even attended school here. When she would come and play with her older sister after school with us. We felt like it was a good representation," Co-chair Hillary Brown said.

Organizers say this would not have been possible without the support of the entire neighborhood of Irvington, more than 750 individual donors and many more.

The playground committee partnered with the IPS Foundation and the school’s PTSA to help raise more than $200,000 for the project.

“A place of community and a place where you can come together. She liked to play with her friends. She liked to lead her friends in games and so creating a space that allows that to happen with other students is what I hope the legacy is,” Co-chair Michelle Pleasant said.

When asked what Hannah would say if she were able to see the playground today, Samantha says…

“She would’ve loved it.”

Organizers say their hope is to create a welcoming space for all local families, whether their children attend George Julian or not.