Alyssa Alhadeff
Love is in the Air, Courtesy Joel Amit

By Jill Fox

In a final push to complete the $150,000 project dedicated to her daughter Alyssa, Lori Alhadeff came up with an idea for residents to become a lasting part of her new playground at the Chabad of Parkland.

As part of the permanent art installation at the playground’s entrance, artist and sculptor Joel Amit is creating a three-dimensional piece made of butterflies, which will depict the word love and include a dedication on the side.

Individuals or businesses can donate $1,000 to dedicate a personalized butterfly image, and according to Rabbi Shuy Biston, on Wednesday, an anonymous donor committed to purchasing 20 of them for $20,000.

“I was shocked but excited to hear that this large donation to The Chabad of Parkland for Alyssa’s Playground will move us so much closer to our $150,000 goal,” said Lori.

Raising the first $80,000 for the project was the organization Where Angels Play, which was founded by New Jersey firefighters to build playgrounds after Hurricane Sandy, and in honor of the Sandy Hook victims. The 2020 Florida Engineering Leadership Institute class helped raise over $31,000 of that for the playground, however, with additional requirements in Florida, like a shade canopy, this project needed more funds.

Currently, they have 38 butterflies left to sell.

“The butterfly campaign is an opportunity for people to recognize their own personal honoree or family member, but at the same time feel like they are part of the bigger project for Alyssa and her family,” said Rabbi Mendy Gutnick.

Alyssa Alhadeff
Lori Alhadeff and her mother, Terri Robinovitz, present a butterfly to donor Rod Velez.

Last weekend, the first set of donors was invited to the synagogue to see the playground and the artwork’s future location. Lori gave them each their own butterfly, made by children at Eagles Haven, as a personal memento to show her appreciation.

“The playground will be really beautiful, and I’m optimistic that we’re going to get it done,” said Lori.

To donate to Alyssa’s playground, visit Chabad of Parkland is located at 7170 Loxahatchee Road.

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.