Over 100 adopt-a-bench opportunities this summer school break

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Credit: WINK News.

Adopt a bench and possibly save a life. That’s me message from a new group called Benches For Our Babes.

During summer break, what happens to all the benches and picnic tables volunteers put up at bus stops since two children got hit by cars? Somebody has to take care of them.

For the last several months, wooden picnic tables have become a staple at bus stops in North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral.

The benches started popping up after the hit-and-run death of 2nd grader Layla Aiken, 8, who was the second child in Southwest Florida to be hit and killed near a school bus stop this year. Alana Tamplin, 12, died in January.

But with school out for the summer, groups like Benches For Our Babes in Cape Coral said by signing up to adopt a bench you will be in charge of it over the summer. That means painting it and maintaining the grass around the bench, for instance.

“It’s about taking pride,” said Nicole Fitzpatrick, of Benches For Our Babes. “Taking pride in your community and making sure that they’re always in good condition.”

There are more than 100 benches up for adoption in Cape Coral alone. Similar groups are in Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers.

“Just because school is ending, doesn’t mean that this ends,” Fitzpatrick said. “Because school will be starting again and we will be going through the same exact thing all over again.

“It’s good that we’re a step ahead of the game,” Fitzpatrick said, “and hopefully people can take care of them over the summer while their kids are out.”


Benches For Our Babes has Facebook groups with more information on its adopt-a-bench program. Visit its Cape Coral, North Fort Myers or Lehigh Acres page.

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