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updated: 6/19/2017 10:44 AM

Mount Prospect family donates money for basketball court to honor daughter

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  • Twins Aidan, left, and Quinn Murphy, 10, play on new playground equipment in their neighborhood We-Go Park in Mount Prospect. A basketball court was dedicated Saturday at the park in memory of their aunt Lindsay Gillilan, who died in 2009.

      Twins Aidan, left, and Quinn Murphy, 10, play on new playground equipment in their neighborhood We-Go Park in Mount Prospect. A basketball court was dedicated Saturday at the park in memory of their aunt Lindsay Gillilan, who died in 2009.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • Bruce and Marta Gillilan of Mount Prospect donated $15,000 toward the building of this basketball court in their neighborhood We-Go Park. It was dedicated Saturday in memory of their daughter Lindsay, a special needs kindergarten teacher in Lake Zurich Unit District 95, who died suddenly in 2009.

      Bruce and Marta Gillilan of Mount Prospect donated $15,000 toward the building of this basketball court in their neighborhood We-Go Park. It was dedicated Saturday in memory of their daughter Lindsay, a special needs kindergarten teacher in Lake Zurich Unit District 95, who died suddenly in 2009.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • Lindsay J. Gillilan

    Lindsay J. Gillilan

  • Alan Deitch helps take shoes off his son, Wesley, 3, as daughter, Elenor, 18 months, stands on a slide that is part of new playground equipment at We-Go Park Play Lot in Mount Prospect.

      Alan Deitch helps take shoes off his son, Wesley, 3, as daughter, Elenor, 18 months, stands on a slide that is part of new playground equipment at We-Go Park Play Lot in Mount Prospect.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • Gordon Kemp, 8, plays on new playground equipment in his neighborhood park, We-Go Park Play Lot, which was upgraded last year and dedicated Saturday by the Mount Prospect Park District. "It's a lot better than it was before," he said.

      Gordon Kemp, 8, plays on new playground equipment in his neighborhood park, We-Go Park Play Lot, which was upgraded last year and dedicated Saturday by the Mount Prospect Park District. "It's a lot better than it was before," he said.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • Bruce Gillilan of Mount Prospect speaks during a dedication Saturday of a basketball court in We-Go Park in memory of his daughter Lindsay, a special needs kindergarten teacher with Lake Zurich Unit District 95 who died suddenly of heart failure in 2009.

      Bruce Gillilan of Mount Prospect speaks during a dedication Saturday of a basketball court in We-Go Park in memory of his daughter Lindsay, a special needs kindergarten teacher with Lake Zurich Unit District 95 who died suddenly of heart failure in 2009.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • Bruce and Marta Gillilan of Mount Prospect, center, donated $15,000 toward the building of this basketball court in their neighborhood We-Go Park. It was dedicated Saturday in memory of their daughter Lindsay. Lindsay's sister Kara and her husband Colin Murphy of Wheaton, and their twin sons, Aidan and Quinn, 10, were also present.

      Bruce and Marta Gillilan of Mount Prospect, center, donated $15,000 toward the building of this basketball court in their neighborhood We-Go Park. It was dedicated Saturday in memory of their daughter Lindsay. Lindsay's sister Kara and her husband Colin Murphy of Wheaton, and their twin sons, Aidan and Quinn, 10, were also present.
    Madhu Krishnamurthy | Staff Photographer

  • The aging wooden structures at We-Go Park Play Lot in Mount Prospect were removed last year and the park reopened Saturday with new playground equipment and a basketball court dedicated in honor of a former resident.

    The aging wooden structures at We-Go Park Play Lot in Mount Prospect were removed last year and the park reopened Saturday with new playground equipment and a basketball court dedicated in honor of a former resident.
    Courtesy of Mount Prospect Park District

 
 
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that Lindsay Gillilan died from a blood clot.

The Mount Prospect neighborhood park where Lindsay Gillilan spent countless hours playing as a child now has a basketball court dedicated in her memory.

Gillilan, 28, a Schaumburg resident and Prospect High School graduate, died in 2009 of heart failure caused by a blood clot.

She was a dancer and a special needs kindergarten teacher with Lake Zurich Unit District 95, said father Bruce Gillilan, who still lives in that Mount Prospect neighborhood.

He and wife Marta donated $15,000 toward the building of the basketball court at We-Go Park. Much of the money was donated to the couple as memorials to their daughter when Gillilan died.

"We didn't know what to do with it," Bruce Gillilan said. "It took us eight years to figure it out. We're just glad to do it for the neighborhood. It's an enduring thing."

The basketball court is part of roughly $130,000 worth of improvements done at the park, which officially reopened Saturday with new playground equipment installed last winter.

"The (old) court probably wasn't going to be replaced because we didn't have funding to do it all," said Jim Jarog, director of parks and planning for the Mount Prospect Park District. "It was one of her (Gillilan's) favorite places to be so they thought it appropriate to donate the money here."

Park improvements were funded partially through the Northwest Special Recreation Association to improve access for people with disabilities.

The old playground equipment, originally installed in the 1980s, was made of wood and had rotted away due to the elements.

"It was tiny," said Gordon Kemp, 8, playing on the new equipment. "It's a lot better than it was before."

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