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East Northport school's playground remembers Spencer F. Carr

From left, family friend Ron Kaye, Alma Carr,

From left, family friend Ron Kaye, Alma Carr, 59, Christian Carr, 25, and Glen Carr, 63, were present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Spencer F. Carr Memorial Playground at Long Island Lutheran Day School. (Aug. 28, 2013) Credit: Handout

Fifty people lined up to cut a 100-foot long ribbon during a dedication ceremony of Long Island Lutheran Day School’s $140,000 Spencer F. Carr Memorial Playground Wednesday.

The East Northport school formerly known as St. Paul's Lutheran School, which serves students in grades Pre-K through Grade 5, dedicated the playground to Carr, a former student there. He died at age 22 on Feb. 26, 2012, after accidentally falling from a balcony of his Rego Park, Queens, apartment.

To pay tribute to Carr’s life, his family, friends and community raised $110,000, and the school financed the rest to build a playground that can serve up to 85 children at a time, equipped with swings, slides, tunnels, spinning monkey bars -- all in the school’s colors of red, white and black.

Andrew Gove, assistant head of school for Long Island Lutheran, said it was nice to see nearly 150 people from the community come out and support the dedication.

“We wanted to design a playground that the Carr family could imagine their son playing on when he was younger,” Gove said. “It means a lot to us to be able to do this.”

Spencer’s mother Alma Carr, 59, her husband Glen, 63, and son Christian, 25, were joined by nearly 20 other family members, plus family friends, at the ceremony.

“Spencer was a funny kid and children always gravitated to him,” said Alma Carr, of Greenlawn. “And he loved St. Paul’s. He even wore the school’s T-shirt under his high school graduation gown. He told me once some of his happiest memories were at St. Paul’s.”

She added that their family will forever be grateful that the community came together to memorialize her son in this way.

“For us, it’s another place for us to go to think of him and everyone will continue to ask about him when they see this playground,” she said. "Our hope is that it becomes a place where children can make happy memories because that's what Spencer did there.”

An earlier version of this blog item incorrectly stated the grade levels taught at Long Island Lutheran Day School.

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