Kari Friedman and her dog, Pilsner. 

Kari’s PlayWorld celebrated its recent opening May 8 at River Road Park, 17535 Chagrin River Road in Bainbridge Township.

The playground is named in memory of Kari Friedman, who died in 2014 at age 30 in a car crash in Bozeman, Mont., where she was doing her practicum to become a guidance counselor. The Kenston High School graduate, cheerleader, Girl Scout and nanny would’ve “loved” having a playground in her hometown where young families could play, many of which could include her former high school classmates, her parents Jill and Mark Friedman told the Cleveland Jewish News in January.

The Friedmans secured the naming rights to the playground after donating $35,000, which in part came from a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Montana due to the unsafe nature of the intersection where their daughter’s fatal crash occurred, as well as $8,000 coming from a fundraiser their other daughter, Ilana, held at a Panini’s in Bainbridge a few years ago.

Donors and the township combined to provide the rest of the funding, which totaled over $300,000.

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