Community members raising money for playground, honoring boy who was killed

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The last two months have been filled with many days of darkness for the family of Eli Hart. Now, a group of community members want to brighten the family’s life help honor their little boy.

In May, the Mound Police Department found 6-year-old Hart in the trunk of his mother’s car – according to charging documents Hart was shot up to nine times. His mother, Julissa Thaler has been charged with murder in the case.

Eli Hart

To make sure Eli is remembered forever, there’s an effort to build a new playground at Surfside Park, in Mound – it would be named the ‘Eli Hart Memorial Playground.’

This is an idea of what the Eli Hart Memorial Playground could look like

“We’re just honored that they want to do this for Eli, that they want to help heal their community,” Josie Josephson, Hart’s father’s fiancé, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on the phone.

“What a better thing to do than a playground,” Josephson said, adding: “Eli loved playgrounds, I couldn’t tell you how many different playgrounds we have taken him to.”

Josephson said Hart’s favorite part of the playground were the monkey bars

The grassroots effort kicked off during Mound’s Spirit of the Lakes Festival – the group was able to share their plan with the community and share how they can help.

Eli Hart Memorial Playground organizers at Mound’s Spirit of the Lakes Festival

There’s still a lot more fundraising to go – as of Sunday night, the GoFundMe has more than $3,500 of the $200,000 goal.

“[It’ll be] an area for kids just to be kids and a place for families to make memories,” Josephson said. “Now, all we have are those memories and they’re very precious to us. [So], the thought of them building a playground in honor of Eli, where the families can make those memories that they’ll treasure, it makes us so happy.”

You can donate to the playground here.