Local residents who wish to remember John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves in a tangible way have two ways to help out this week:
* Friends and family members of the Davis 18-year-olds who were kidnapped and killed in December 1980 will be at the city of Davis booth at the Celebrate Davis! festival. The event runs from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Community Park.
Visitors will have an opportunity to donate to a Warm Remembrance Family Play Area to be built in Redwood Park on Anderson Road, where Riggins used to play as a young child and where Gonsalves worked as a summer playground leader.
More than $7,000 already 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.
Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk will be at the booth with fliers and posters. To learn more about the project, visit http://city-managers-office.cityofdavis.org/warm-remembrance-project.
* Anyone interested in bringing back the Warm Remembrance Festival, possibly as a back-to-school event on Aug. 24, is invited to attend a planning meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday at the southwest corner of César Chávez Elementary School, 1221 Anderson Road, adjacent to Redwood Park.
The festival was an annual event where families gathered at Central Park to enjoy games, music, even a circus act where kids were the stars of the show. It was presented in the decade after the deaths of Riggins and Gonsalves as a way to remember the positive, life-affirming influences they had on Davis children.
“We feel this would be a great opportunity to bring awareness of the project to the community and we hope to hold the event in the park,” said Beth Gabor, Riggins’ cousin and a longtime Davis resident. “All who are interested in helping to plan this event are welcome. We have a lot of ideas and opportunities for donations to support the event, but we will need help. Come on down!”
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