Local residents who wish to remember John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves in a tangible way are invited to contribute to a Warm Remembrance Family Play Area to be built in Redwood Park on Anderson Road. Riggins used to play in the park as a young child and Gonsalves worked there as a summer playground leader.
The couple, both 18-year-old freshmen at UC Davis, were kidnapped and killed in December 1980. Their killer finally was brought to justice earlier this year, convicted of their murders and sentenced to death.
Almost $10,000 has been raised for the project, which has an overall budget of $80,000 but which can be scaled down as necessary. Plans for the play area include memorial benches, an interpretive sign, play apparatus for young children, a picnic table, additional landscaping, pour-in-place surface for cushioning and accessibility, improved lighting and other amenities.
To learn more about the project, visit http://city-managers-office.cityofdavis.org/warm-remembrance-project.
Contributors of $1,000 or more can be recognized at the site on playground equipment or a bench, for example, or in signage. All contributions are tax-deductible. The donation period will close Dec. 31, organizers said.
Friends and family of the young couple also are planning a Warm Remembrance Community Band Concert featuring the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, likely to take place Saturday, Sept. 21. Earlier plans to bring back the Warm Remembrance Festival as a back-to-school event in August have been scrapped.
Organizers also are trying to track down Riggins’ and Gonsalves’ former classmates in the Davis High School Class of 1980. Any snail mail or email addresses can be forwarded to Beth Gabor, Riggins’ cousin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.