TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Plans for the Abby and Libby Memorial Park are moving forward. Purdue Research Foundation is donating ten intramural light poles to help illuminate the park.
For a project 100% funded by donations and volunteer work, The Abby and Libby Memorial Park is seeing a lot of love.
“We're just really grateful for the people that continuously overwhelm us,” said Eric Erskin, Abby William’s grandfather.
The families of Abigail Williams and Liberty German have been fundraising for the Memorial Park since 2018, that was one year after the two teens were murdered on the Monon High Trail in February 2017. The park has seen much improvement.
“The ground, the site has all been leveled,” said Erskin. “There are some drainage swales that have been built into there. The in-fields for the ball diamonds have now been put in.”
The construction of the ball fields has been a major focus for the families since both girls loved softball. Now the park has lights to illuminate the field thanks to Purdue Research Foundation and Duke Energy.
“They've donated these ten light fixtures and light poles and that's going to be used to light out fields and Duke Energy has stepped up and their equipment and their employees are taking the units down,” said Erskin.
Purdue Research Foundation leaders reached out to Duke Energy to help remove the lights from the Intramural Black Playing Field, which is located north of the Purdue airport on the west side of Airport Rd.
Dan Rhodes, Duke Energy Community Relations Manager said it's an honor to have a hand in the project.
“We got five of our guys who are out here on volunteer time today, most of them are a part of our Transmission Crew,” said Rhodes. “They're out here on their own time, some of them are actually giving up time with their family that they had scheduled today to be out here to help with taking these poles down and getting them out there to the park.”
The Erskins say from one field to another, these lights bring a bright future for a community struck with tragedy.
“I can envision those lights shining out on that field and people going, what is going on out there or maybe they'll come to a game or a concert,” said Diane Erskin, Abby William’s grandmother. “It's gonna be huge physically and it's going to be huge emotionally.”
The Erskins say while one big check could take care of the entire project, there's something special about the process when it's a labor of love.
“Not only will it bring joy to a lot of people, but it will bring joy to the people who contributed because they can bring their own families and say, mom and dad, you know we helped do this,” said Diane.
The poles are expected to be installed in the spring. If you're interested in contributing to the project, you can donate here.