Playground dedicated in Snelgrove#039;s honor

by Beacon Staff • October 10, 2007

Victoria Snelgrove's legacy grew again last week in the form of a new playground at the Gordon W. Mitchell Middle School in East Bridgewater, Mass. The playground's opening brought together town locals, school committee members, friends, family and students.

Victoria Snelgrove was a junior broadcast journalism major at Emerson College when she was accidentally shot and killed by Boston police during a rally after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs. In her memory, her parents, Richard and Dianne Snelgrove, started the Victoria E. Snelgrove Memorial Fund, also known as the "Torie Fund," which donated the playground.

Students at Emerson, even those who did not know Snelgrove personally, said they were aware of the Snelgrove fund's efforts.

"I like that, rather than lashing out at the Boston police, [her parents] are doing something positive," said Liam Green, a sophomore writing literature and publisghin major at Emerson. "It's really fitting, and sweet."

The charity put approximately $65,000 toward the playground, which will be called Torie's Place Too, Dianne Snelgrove said. The Torie Fund has also donated money to another playground, Torie's Place, in West Bridgewater, and created scholarships at East Bridgewater High School. More than $100,000 has been donated by the Torie Fund to various causes over the past few years.

Snelgrove said the idea for the playground came about 10 months ago, when the Snelgroves learned that Mitchell Elementary School in East Bridgewater was being renovated. The elementary school didn't need a new playground, so the family went to the superintendent and asked what they could be done for other local schools. The middle school, which Victoria attended, was chosen as the location for the new playground.

The new playground includes swings, slides, a climbing wall and 10 exercise stations.

The Torie Fund holds two events per year, one in February, which Snelgrove describes as a "family skate night," and one in October, to raise money for the fund.

Snelgrove said donations come in throughout the year.

"We are very happy with it," Snelgrove said of Torie's Place Too. "It's absolutely beautiful."