Bench will honor first responders

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, a dozen local families have pooled their resources to buy a bench honoring first responders that will be installed at the new Joey’s Park playground. Supporters of the park’s overhaul are embarking on a final fund-raising push this summer. Twelve families from the online Belmont Family Group forum chipped in $500 to buy the bench, which will include the inscription, “In appreciation of First Responders on events surrounding Marathon Monday April 2013.” The park, built in 1989 in memory of a local boy who died at age 12 from cystic fibrosis, closed briefly in 2011 after a safety review raised concerns, and reopened on a temporary basis after some play equipment was removed. Now, community members are raising money to renovate the playground. The new facility will be constructed by residents in an old-fashioned community “barn-raising’’ event slated for this fall. For more information on the project, visit www.joeyspark.org.