New Children's Playground in Memory of Members' Grandson

Children enjoying the new playground

Children enjoying a good bookOur much awaited new children's playground was finally opened for play during our annual spring picnic April 16. Delighted children immediately swarmed the playground and made it come alive! Their excitement over having a fun new place to play was contagious.

The project was a special labor of love for two New Covenant members, Mark and Terri Rettig, who funded the building of the playground in memory of their 2-year-old grandson Caiden Ash Murray, who died suddenly in 2014 from brain cancer. "When Caiden passed away the people here at New Covenant supported and helped us so much that we wanted to do something special, which is this playground," Terri Rettig told Aiken Standard reporter Tripp Girardeaua who was present for the playground's unveiling. "We know it's something that Caiden would have enjoyed immensely. We will always miss the joy of hearing Caiden's laughter, but cannot wait to hear the giggles of the many children who will use this playground for years to come."

The $84,000 project features the latest play equipment, a handicap-accessible entrance, a full-service kitchen and restrooms for various church activities. A Japanese Maple was planted in honor of Caiden on the playground, which Pastor Drew had the congregation stand around during the unveiling ceremony.

Terry and Mark Rettig with their granddaughter Braelynn Murray"We were overwhelmed by the love, support, compassion and thoughtfulness of every member of the New Covenant congregation," Mark Rettig told the reporter. "When we tried to thank people for their generosity, many said 'Don't thank me, just pay it forward'. This is our opportunity to do that."

Pastor Drew said, "This is a wonderful addition to our church that will provide much opportunity for fellowship and fun! We are all so thankful to the Lord and thankful to Terri and Mark for this contribution."

Terri and Mark also have founded the CAM FUND in honor of Caiden, which is a nonprofit organization that funds cancer research with every penny going to pediatric research. Anyone interested in donating can visit camfund.org.

Link to Children's Ministry Page

Note: Much of this content has been reprinted from the orginal April 16 Aiken Standard article by Tripp Girardeau.