Tree, playground to honor crash victim - Dayton Daily News (11.14.06)

By Katherine Ullmer
Staff Writer

WASHINGTON TWP., Montgomery County — The parents of Yukta Garg, the 6-year-old girl who died in an auto accident in front of the Washington Twp. Recreation Center on July 26, plan to honor her memory with a memorial oak tree and a playground constructed in her honor.

The public is invited to the dedication ceremony of the oak at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the A-frame shelter in Countryside Park, adjacent to the rec center, 895 Washington-Centerville Road.

Hemant and Arti Garg, Yukta's parents, are seeking donations for the playground through an account set up in their daughter's name at US Bank locations. The size, equipment and layout will be determined when donations are combined with $50,000 seed money from the township, said Linda Madden, senior recreation supervisor.
"We're hoping the community will match the seed money in donations," she said.

The park's master plan designates the grassy area east of the A-frame shelter as an expanded play area. With Garg's death, the township trustees made funding available earlier than planned, Madden said.

Yukta Garg attended summer camp programs at the park. "She was a very gifted kid. This will definitely keep her associated with the place," said Hemant Garg.

"Yukta's laughter and smile were infectious," Madden said.

Yukta liked music and to be theatrical, so parts of the playground will have creative play spaces, with a music area with a rain stick or drum-type things, and a stage area, she said. With the playground, "Yukta will continue to bring joy to other children though she no longer is present," she said.

The playground will be open to the public for free, Madden said.

For more information, go to the Internet Web site: Donations may be mailed to: The Yukta Garg Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 750081, Dayton, OH, 45475-0081.