ATTLEBORO -- The memory of a little girl described as “a shining light of energy” will be preserved thanks to the generosity of many, including the city.

Little Ariella Marie Ouellette, who was happy and seemingly in perfect health, tragically died in her sleep of unknown causes in April of 2017. It was just days after her second birthday and just days before she was to be “the most beautiful flower girl” in a wedding.

Her mom and dad, Alicia and Larry Ouellette, formerly of Attleboro and now of Norton, decided to honor the joy she experienced in her two short years and the joy she brought to them and others by providing opportunities for other young children to play outside, laugh and smile — just like their daughter did.

A foundation was started in Ariella Marie’s name and the first mission was to raise $50,000 needed to furnish new equipment at the Tilda B. Stone Playground in the city’s Dodgeville neighborhood.

That mission has been accomplished.

The foundation raised $38,000 and the city chipped in $12,000 from the Tilda B. Stone Trust Fund to seal the deal.

Recreation Director Dennis Walsh said the material was ordered last week and installation of the new playground equipment is scheduled for late September.

Ariella Marie’s parents eventually hope to use the foundation to provide scholarships.

In a link on the recreation department’s website, they explained future goals.

“We will continue to keep Ariella’s spirit alive by raising funds for scholarships,” they said. “Ariella was a shining light of energy who loved to dance and sing and play outside. The scholarships will provide the opportunity for kids to go to dance lessons, singing lessons, summer camps and pursue outdoor adventures.”

For more information, visit www.ariellamariefoundation-ammf.com or ariellamariefoundation on Facebook.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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