Riley's Place Fund
Riley’s Place Playground was built in September 2001 in memory of Riley Jean Tomlinson. Riley, who died in an accident at the age of 17 months, was the beautiful son of Jennifer and Wade Tomlinson.
After his death, his parents were overwhelmed with the kindness of friends and neighbors who wanted to do something in memory of Riley. Jennifer remembered a playground that she and Riley had once visited in Nashville, Tennessee, and the dream of Riley’s Place began. Committees were set up and the work to plan the playground and raise the money began. Over 3,000 children in Washington County had an opportunity to turn in ideas for the design of the playground.
The playground was completely constructed in 6 days. The first day of the build, September 11, 2001, was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. Building Riley’s Place gave the community something positive to focus on when our country was in great despair and grief. In all, over 2,000 people put their skills to work to build the playground.
The playground was dedicated on September 16, 2001. One white balloon, in memory of Riley, was released, along with 2001red balloons, symbolizing all the children who will play on the playground.