Chester Park improvements to honor late Barry family
In memory of the Barry family, killed in their Duluth home by a family member in 2022, a fundraising event will be held Saturday to improve Chester Park.
DULUTH — Just over a year after the Barry family was killed in their home, community members and relatives have come together in coordination with the city of Duluth to honor them with a memorial and improvements to Chester Park.
For the late family of four, Chester Park served as a beloved destination where the Barry children played while their parents socialized.
Loved ones said the park, about a mile from their home in the East Hillside neighborhood, was where 12-year-old Shiway Barry could swing and contemplate life for hours at the playground, while 9-year-old Sadie Barry spun around or played in the sand. Both girls would join in group games in the field.
Over the years, Chester Park became the place the girls' parents, Riana and Sean Barry, grew in their community and friendships as the family met there weekly for homeschool park days.
Police said Riana and Sean Barry's nephew, Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad, 29, shot dead the four relatives, a dog and then himself on April 20, 2022. Authorities believe he was previously living with the family.
Fundraising event and silent auction
A benefit will be held Saturday from 3-6 p.m. at The Other Place Bar and Grill at 3930 E. Calvary Road. The event will include a pasta bar dinner, silent auction and bake sale, as well as sticker- and coloring-book sales.
The coloring book was created and designed by Sadie's private art teacher, Alyssa Swanson of Cloquet, with help from Ashley K. Timms. It includes Sadie's original drawings, as well as 78 drawings contributed by friends, family and young artists.
"As we sculpted with polymer clay together, Sadie taught me all about the mythical creatures she had conjured up. She had a particular love for dragons, and she had created an entire taxonomy of them. They each had special diets, habitats and temperaments. She would describe in detail their scales or fur, how they hunted, and what their role in the ecosystem was. She was working on a handmade book that was called 'The Book of Dragons.' To keep her beautiful and pure spirit of creativity alive, I am creating a coloring book in her memory," Swanson said.
Pre-orders for "Sadie's Book of Dragons" coloring book were available online through 7 p.m. Sunday, May 14.
"We have raised over $1,000 through the coloring book already," Swanson said.
Donations are also being accepted for the silent auction by contacting email@example.com.
"Over $10,000 in community donations have been received so far for the silent auction," said Britinee Janson, volunteer and family friend of the Barry's homeschool community.
Additionally, a GoFundMe for the memorial at Chester Park is accepting donations, with 49 donors raising $4,023 of the $22,000 goal as of Sunday morning.
"We are thrilled to be moving forward with this project, honoring this dear family while contributing to the community of Duluth and a park they loved," according to the GoFundMe organized by Elizabeth Salmela, Halee Schlangen on behalf of Anjela Ayllon, Riana's sister.
Money raised will be used to replace the spinner element in the playground and fall-zone safety material and edging; add a wheelchair-accessible crushed stone path; install a memorial bench with signage; upgrade a swing bay to include an accessible swing; and more.
Installation is anticipated in July.
Follow the Shiway and Sadie Memorial at Chester Park Facebook page for more information.
To get help
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org/chat
Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741
More Lifeline resources: speakingofsuicide.com/resources
South St. Louis, Lake, Cook and Carlton counties/Fond du Lac Band: 218-623-1800 or 844-772-4742
North St. Louis County/Bois Forte Band: 218-288-2100
Itasca County: 218-326-8565 or 211*
Koochiching County: 800-442-8565 or 211*
*St. Louis County 211 services are not crisis-related
This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. May 18 to correct the name of the person who designed and created the coloring book. This story was originally published at 9:37 a.m. May 14. The News Tribune regrets the error.