Published Feb. 27, 2009|Updated Feb. 27, 2009

A support group for grieving parents hopes more donations will help make its memorial a reality.

Angel of Hope Tampa Bay is $30,000 short of its $100,000 goal to create an Angel of Hope Memorial Garden, including a bronze winged angel holding outstretched arms.

The memorial garden would be part of the new Riverside Park in Temple Terrace. The $400,000 construction project to build the park is expected to be complete next month. Angel of Hope wants to have the bronze statue ready shortly after. It will stand in an area about 80 by 60 feet.

Mike Dunn, spokesman for the city, said the total park project includes about $214,000 to add picnic tables, benches, swings and standard and special needs playground equipment. The 1.5-acre park is part of the 225-acre Temple Terrace redevelopment district.

The support group's idea for the angel statue comes from the 1994 book The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. In it, a family learns the true meaning of Christmas.

There are more than 70 Angel of Hope statues set up in memorial gardens across the country.

"This is going to be something that is very hopeful," said Beverly Hurley, director of Angel of Hope Tampa Bay. "It is not like going to a cemetery. It is very healing and uplifting."

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 269-4314 or


To help

Bricks can be purchased for $100, and that includes three lines of engraving with up to 15 characters.

- Mail donations of any amount to Angel of Hope, P.O. Box 2573; Lutz, FL 33548. You may also visit the group's Web site at or call (813) 832-3175.