Fundraising efforts continue for Eli Hart Memorial Playground

Plans for a memorial playground in honor of Eli Hart continue to take shape in Mound and a weekend fundraiser is helping make it all a reality. 

 In late May, 6-year-old Eli Hart was found shot and killed in the trunk of a car his mother, Julissa Thaler, was driving. Thaler has been charged in connection with his murder. 

Shortly after his death, community members and Hart's family came together to raise money to build a permanent memorial for the little boy at Surfside Park. 

This weekend, all beer tent donations at the Incredible Festival at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church went towards building the playground. 

"It's a place to go to create new, happy memories and I know it's really important to the family that Eli be remembered in a positive way and not just with all the news stories surrounding his name. They love the idea of a playground where kids can be happy and families can spend time together," said Tiffany Beitler, one of the organizers behind the fundraising effort. 

The cost of building a new playground is estimated to be between $200,000 and $250,000. 

A GoFundMe site has also been established.