Ava Shaye Bright loved nothing more than to splash. Her mother, Krista, said Ava didn't care if it was a fancy pool, at the shores of the lake, or in puddles of rain.
A common childhood surgery cut short Ava's life on March 21, 2010 when she was 2 years old. Something went wrong after what was to be a simple tonsillectomy. Since that time, Krista and others in the community have planned a splash park in Ava's honor.
On July 20 the splash pad will officially open with a ceremony and a splash day planned by Mt. Juliet officials.
"The pad is almost 75 percent complete," said Parks Director Rocky Lee. "We have our fingers crossed things will be ready Saturday. The rain has hampered us."
Workers will pour concrete this week, and they are waiting for electrical hookups.
The splash pad is 4,000 square feet and will have a vast array of sprinklers.
Lee said city officials decided to make a "day" of introducing the public to the new splash pad. There will be five inflatable "bouncers," water slides and slip-and-slides.
"We will have a dunking booth as well," said Lee.
Krista's friend, Jennifer Hamblin, worked alongside Krista to make the splash pad a reality.
"It's really nice to see three years of hard work come to fruition in Ava's honor," said Hamblin. "And, it's for all the kids in the community."
A "memorial" walkway is also planned. Members of the community can buy a brick and have it engraved with a loved one's name. They are available for up to $100. The money raised goes into the splash pad budget.
Krista said she did not want Ava to be remembered for her tragic story, but rather in a positive and happy light.
"And, I knew I didn't want her name forgotten," said Krista.
Lee said if the weather impedes the final touches on the splash pad, it will open July 27.