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."