The memory of Bridget Allison Pier finally comes home to Coral Reef Park today – and to the favorite playground where this joyous little seven-year-old spent many afternoons and weekends, playing and laughing with family and friends.
Bridget died unexpectedly in 2011, and so in February of 2016, the Palmetto Bay Village Council voted for the playground to be dedicated in honor of the daughter of former village clerk and Palmetto Bay resident Meighan Alexander.
The ceremony takes place Saturday, May 13, 9-10 a.m., in the playground area just beside the Coral Reef Park Rec Room at 7895 SW 152 St.
Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham says she was honored to sponsor the resolution in January 2016 to name the playground at Coral Reef Park after Bridget.
“When Meighan and I first spoke about a dedication, she mentioned that Bridget loved to play at the playground at the park and so we worked together to make that happen,” says Cunningham.
The new playground equipment was installed, the date was set for its dedication, and members of the public will be able to join the Pier/Alexander family to remember this beautiful little girl.Bridget Allison Pier was born on May 13, 2004, and lived all of her life in Palmetto Bay. She was a student at Winhold Montessori and then moved on to Coral Reef Elementary. Coral Reef Park was the home to her favorite playground.
According to her mom, Meighan, “Bridget lived a very joyful life. She was always smiling, singing, dancing, or creating artwork.”
Her teacher, Joann Gibson, remembered how, “Bridget lived every minute to the fullest.”
Tragically, in 2011, this happy and seemingly healthy young girl, while on vacation in Hawaii, suffered a massive stroke. An undetected heart infection known as endocarditis caused tissue to break free from her heart and travel to her brain, blocking the blood flow. Doctors at the Kapiolani Medical Center in Oahu tried valiantly to save her, but the damage was too great, and she passed away on July 3.
Bridget clearly embraced the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii, says Meighan. “Bridget loved the ocean and all types of animals. She had a special understanding of nature, a unique empathy for those in need, and a welcoming attitude for everyone she met.”
The love she had for life and her passion for helping others was reflected in her joyous nature. Knowing Bridget’s generous spirit and kindness, her family donated her kidneys and cornea. Because of her donated organs, two individuals are alive today and one fortunate person has the gift of sight.
According to Cunningham, “Bridget left a legacy of love and kindness. Even after six years, she is remembered fondly by her first grade classmates from Coral Reef Elementary.” Several of those classmates, now 7th graders, will be joining in the celebration and dedication of the playground alongside her family, teachers, and friends.
“I am so glad to see this project finally come to fruition,” Cunningham said. “What better way to remember the name and legacy of the little girl who is known by many and who’s giving spirit and positive attitude was felt by all with whom she came into contact than the gift of unconditional joy that comes from play.”
In a letter to friends, the Alexander family described Bridget this way: “A truly independent soul, she was a girly-girl, preferring fancy party shoes (she liked her mommy’s spiked heels the most) and formal dresses, to sneakers and shorts. Her concept of style was very colorful and courageous.”
Bridget’s humor and intelligence were two of her greatest traits and she is fondly remembered and greatly missed by those lucky enough to have known her.
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