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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Honoring a bright spirit

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gavin Jones, 3, stands in front of the playground Sunday afternoon that was dedicated in the memory of his older brother, Colton, who passed away in March following a lengthy battle with cancer. Jason Jacobs Photo.
The memory of Colton Jones will continue to live on.

On Sunday, the Noah's Ark Playground was opened in dedication of Colton, who passed away March 24, 2008, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

More than 50 people, including city officials and Colton's classmates, showed up for the ribbon cutting by his younger brother Gavin, 3.

"We are really touched," Colton's mother Andrea Jones said about the dedication of the playground for Open Hands Preschool. "He loved going to preschool and he would have loved this playground."

The playground is constructed of approximately 12,400 recycled milk jugs and was built by volunteers.

"I just don't know how to put what I feel into words," Colton's father Jason Jones said. "We had a lot of people help to make this a reality."

Jason said the playground took about 22 hours to construct during three Saturdays and, on average, there were five or six volunteers working to build it at the same time.

Colton attended Open Hands Preschool, which is located inside First United Methodist Church, 201 N. Meridian St., Brazil, and was in Director Chris Pestoff's 4- and 5-year-old class. Colton's classmates were the first to use the playground Sunday afternoon.

This sign hangs inside the newly build playground on the grounds of First United Methodist Church that was dedicateed to Colton Jones Sunday afternoon. Jason Jacobs Photo.
"Colton was a unique child," Pestoff said. "Everyone who ever met Colton took a piece of him with them."

Pestoff added that the way the playground was constructed goes along with Colton's love of watching the big trucks haul away trash.

"He dressed up as Bob the Builder for Halloween and with the playground made from recycled milk jugs, it ties in with his love of watching the trash trucks," she said.

As an added inspiration, Open Hands Preschool will continue to collect empty milk jugs as part of its recycling program.

"Our goal is to collect as many empty milk jugs as it took to build this playground," Pestoff said. "It is our way of continuing to honor Colton and the city has agreed to pick them up for us."

She added that once the plans began for the playground shortly after Colton's death, they always knew it would be dedicated to him.

"We wanted to make sure we did it up right," Pestoff said. "If you met him, you're heart was touched and this playground will help him be known forever. His legacy will never die."

A scholarship has also been set up for Pre-K students in Colton's honor.

Contributions to the Colton Jones Foundation or scholarship fund may be sent to First United Methodist Church c/o Colton Jones Foundation, 201 N. Meridian St., Brazil, IN 47834.

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This is very nice looking playground equipment. The recycled milk jugs is a great idea! The company that sells this kind of playground is Kidz Zone Play Systems and the sales rep is Tim Fowler of Carbon, IN. You can reach him at (765)672-4799.

-- Posted by TJ on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 1:56 PM

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