Memorial Bench

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Project by AllanK posted 06-11-2011 05:03 PM 1671 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In May 2006, 5-year old Maya was run over and killed on a Chicago street by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign. He barreled into Maya, her Mom, and her brother, and dragged Maya a hundred feet before stopping. She later died in the hospital. The family set up a 5013c non-profit in her memory – click here for details. Maya attended the Gan Gani kindergarten in Chicago, which is part of the Moadon Kol Hadash run by Etty Dolgin. We have all been very good friends for over 20 years.

Earlier this year, Etty approached me with a request to build a memorial bench for the kindergarten on which the teachers could sit, with the kids, and read stories. I found plans for the Easy Glider and thought that this would be cool – a glider is more fun than a fixed bench. I stretched the plans by one foot to meet Etty’s spec of approx 5’ width.

As an added touch, I used decal paper to apply the two logos. The bench is indoors, and will be hammered by kids, so cedar was out of the question, and I preferred not to paint it. I used white ash for durability, and finished it in clear polyurethane, rather than the painted version in the plans. A labor of love.

To cap it all off, I delivered the bench on the 5-year anniversary of Maya’s death. The wrapping on the base is to hold it together during transport.

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

6 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3634 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 05:11 PM

Very nice, great job.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View CharlesAuguste's profile


126 posts in 3108 days

#2 posted 06-12-2011 02:09 AM

Beautiful craftmanship!!!! for a great cause!! Well done.

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3762 days

#3 posted 06-15-2011 06:54 PM

Sad story and a nice tribute.

Is her name on it somewhere?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3837 days

#4 posted 06-15-2011 07:29 PM

Great job…excellent memorial…unfortunate that such a tragedy occurred…but thanks to folks like yourself….the childs memory will be preserved.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View AllanK's profile


60 posts in 4644 days

#5 posted 06-15-2011 09:07 PM

Thanks to all for the comments. Rex, Maya’s name is not on it, at the request of the parents. The bench is now situated in the indoor “Park Maya” at the kindergarten, and there is a plaque near it. I’m told that the kids love it, and all prospective new students are “hosted” on it during the discussions with the parents.

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4152 days

#6 posted 06-15-2011 09:35 PM

A nice touch Allan when we hear these sad things we must feel less sorry for our own situation no matter what we suffer it’s little compared to some others is it? MY heart goes out to yopur friend and Cher too who lost here dear husband god bless them all Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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