Parents work to build playground in honor of late son

GLADEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tragedy led to inspiration in Wilson County for a local community in need of a playground.

On a sunny day in Mt. Juliet, you’ll find Charlie Daniels Park packed with kids and parents alike. Nearby in Gladesville though, a little boy’s legacy could bring the fun closer to home.

For three years, Raelee Parris spent his play time out at the park until Christmas time two years ago.

Raelee suffered from febrile seizures with one final fight in December 2015.

“I walked in and he was gone,” explained his mother, Heather. “It’s a nightmare that I live every minute of every day.”

The Parris’ would funnel their grief into a dusty lot next to the Gladeville Community Center after an idea by Heather’s husband.

Gladeville is a one stop sign community with no playground to speak of for miles.“He says, ‘I want to build a playground in Raelee’s name,’” said Heather. “We met with the board and they very quickly said this is a fabulous idea and voted it in.”

Now, after more than a year of fundraising, the non-profit Raelee’s Legacy has raised more than $108,000. Although the group is nearing it’s goal, help is still needed.

The funds will go toward a handicap accessible, sensory friendly playground.

“We’ve got to make it all inclusive, for all children, of all disabilities,” said Heather. “We need approximately $20,000 more to start.”

Now possibly weeks away from groundbreaking, Gladeville is making its final push. This is a year long project that could turn a lot into a legacy and shine a light on a little hero.

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