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This overview drawing shows what Bella's Butterfly Garden, which is planned at Northridge Park in Mitchell, could look like.

Match pledged for Bella's Butterfly Garden

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Fundraisers for Bella's Butterfly Garden recently got the promise of a boost from a South Dakota business donor.

If $5,000 is raised before March 1, a matching donation of $5,000 will be given from Thompson Law in Sioux Falls to help build the garden memorial for Iszabella "Bella" Morgan, the 9-year-old Mitchell girl who was killed by a drunken driver on March 24.

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The garden, which is set to be built in the southeast corner of Northridge Park in Mitchell, was designed and is planned to be built by city of Mitchell Parks Department staff if enough money is raised for the project.

The site was chosen because Bella often played in Northridge Park and organizers hope its proximity to Mitchell High School will be a reminder for teenagers not to drink and drive.

Bella's Butterfly Garden will include a 60-foot-long path that meanders through existing trees, a patio paver area 20 feet in diameter, a bench and signs, with garden areas along the path and near the patio area. Plants known to attract butterflies will line the path in the garden.

The park board approved the project, which is expected to cost around $20,000, during its Aug. 14 meeting and asked the Morgan family to raise money for the garden.

Custom engraved pavers are being sold to help raise money. The pavers will be placed in the circular patio area at the end of the garden.

Trish Norgaard, a friend of the Morgan family, has been helping raise money for the project and said interest has been great, but she did not have a specific number of how much has been raised so far. Norgaard is optimistic the goal of $5,000 can be reached before March 1.

"The support from the entire community has been great, but we still need more and I think we can get it," she said.

Each paver allows for three lines with 12 characters available on each line at the price of $75. Or, companies can put their name and logo on a paver for $100. Orders for pavers must be made by April 1.

Norgaard said she hopes people will understand that even though the garden is named after Bella, it isn't necessary a place just to memorialize her.

"A lot of people tell me I didn't know Bella or I am not sure what I would say on a paver, and really the garden is not about that," Norgaard said. "It's meant to be a place where anyone can sit and remember anyone they have lost."

Norgaard said pavers with names of people who died of cancer and with someone's parents' names have already come in.

"It's for anyone who has ever lost anyone; a memory spot," she said.

Monetary donations are also being taken for the garden at any U.S. Bank under the name Iszabella J Morgan Memorial Fund. Or, send directly to Bella's Butterfly Garden, P.O. Box 254, Mitchell, S.D., 57301.

For more information about buying a paver or donating, visit the Facebook page under the title "Bella's Butterfly Garden fundraiser," or contact Pam Punt or Trish Norgaard with any questions. Punt can be reached at 770-1207 or pamh@mit.midco.net; Norgaard can be reached at 770-2115 or patricianorgaard@msn.com.

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