Jenae Larson, who died in last December’s landslide on Beach Road, dreamed of improving the playground at the Haines School, where she taught kindergarten. Now, her mother Kim Larson and a group of friends are raising funds to fulfill Jenae’s goal.

The group created a GoFundMe page on Monday with a goal of $80,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, the page had raised $7,990.

Kim Larson said she and Jenae had several conversations in which Jenae expressed a desire to upgrade the school’s play structure. “This is the perfect thing I can do,” Kim said. “It’s who Jenae is. She’s always been around kids.” Kim wants the playground to incorporate elements that reflect Jenae’s interests, like climbing, Xtratufs and whales, among other things.

Jenae attended Haines School her whole childhood. She was in her first year of teaching at the school when the landslide occurred in December.

“Her love of children, her enjoyment of seeing students’ eyes light up when they learned something new, and her ability to understand the needs of kids without them having to ask were innate abilities of hers,” said Tracey Getchell, one of Jenae Larson’s Haines School colleagues.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, Kim Larson and the fundraising group — nicknamed “Team Jenae” — are selling stickers and magnets designed with flowers and Xtratufs in honor of Jenae and David Simmons, the other Haines resident who died in last year’s slide.

The merchandise cost $5 and can be bought through Kim Larson on Facebook or by phone at 907-766-3885 or soon at The Brewery, Kim said. There is also an account at First National Bank Alaska, number 31528722. All proceeds will go towards the playground, Kim said.

The GoFundMe page can be found at this link: