LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A ribbon cutting ceremony for a new playground that was supposed to be dedicated to the young girl who died when a car crashed into a day care didn’t come without controversy.
Dianne Garvis started The Good Neighbor program in 1999.
For the past few months, her Clermont company facilitated donations to reopen a Groveland day care, and Garvis planned to dedicate the facility's playground to Lily Quintus after she found out the young girl was killed.
“It’s a beautiful place the business didn’t build, the community built,” Garvis said. “We’re giving this community a gift.”
But the 4-year-old’s family didn’t see it that way.
Lily was killed earlier this month after a car crashed into the KinderCare on Goldenrod Road in Orange County.
On Saturday, the Quintus family lawyer, Mark Nation, said the family was never consulted about the project that bared their daughter’s name.
“The Quintus’ weren’t involved and never asked to be involved in it,” he said.
The $400 playground was purchased with donations.
Some of that money was solicited through a Home Depot in Clermont and Nation asked the store to turn over any written fundraising materials.
Garvis said she never meant to make it seem as though she was using Quintus’ name for her own gain.
“I’ll be honest. People donated to help make it bigger, but that wasn’t the intention,” Garvis said.
The grieving family didn’t like how that looked, especially after being kept in the dark.
“They’re very concerned someone would raise money in her name without even contacting them,” Nation said.
Garvis abandoned the plan to memorialize Quintus and apologized.