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Ruthanne Lodato memorial playground opens in Alexandria | News

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Ruthanne Lodato memorial playground opens in Alexandria
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The City of Alexandria celebrated the life of music teacher Ruthanne Lodato Saturday morning.

Lodato was killed on February 6, 2014. Charles Severance has been charged with the murder.

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The ceremony took place at Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center in Alexandria as the grand opening for the Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground.

Lodato's husband and the City of Alexandria's mayor unveiled a plaque for the memorial playground in honor of Lodato's memory.

Lodato, 59, gave the gift of music for more than 35 years and now a playground in her name will continue her life's work with big and little ones who visit.

Lindsey Lawson is a family friend and the Kelley Cares Foundation director which Lodato was actively involved in.

"To have the children she taught and held so close have a new place to go where they can express their creativity," said Lawson.

Lodato's former students wanted to pay tribute to the woman who played a major role in their childhood.

"I'm a musician and it's all because of her," said Jonathan Petrini.

Lodato's husband Norm said he couldn't think of a more fitting tribute to his wife.

"Everything was done with thought," said Norm Lodato. "It is a wonderful tribute to my wife. She'd be so pleased. I saw some of her former students playing the instruments, she'd be smiling today."

The playground was the vision and work by Kelley Cares Foundation, The Miracle League and the city of Alexandria and CVS Health. One-hundred thousand dollars was raised to build the playground.

The playground features swings, outdoor music instruments, shade structures, benches, sensory play components and soft rubber tile surfacing.

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