The name Dawn Byers is synonymous with optimism, passion, energy and joy. And, perhaps nowhere are all of those exceptional attributes more visible than at Kids Castle in Doylestown Township.
The beloved “matriarch” of the sprawling playground in the community’s Central Park died Nov. 27, following a courageous, four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 51.
“While Dawn herself would have told you that Kids Castle exists because of a community effort made up of volunteers, local businesses, caring donors and the township – if you asked any one of those people why Kids Castle exists, they would all tell you without hesitation that it is because of Dawn Byers,” said Joe Salvati, chairman of The Friends of Kids Castle, in a letter to the community.
“Not only is it true that her unrelenting will and ability was the reason why Kids Castle was built in 1996, Dawn is also the reason why Kids Castle has been successfully sustained as a precious gift to the community over the past 24 years,” Salvati said.
While Kids Castle may have been her “passion project,” Byers also generously devoted her time and talents to many other community-minded programs. Among those are the nonprofit educational initiative CB Cares, First Night Doylestown, Bucks Beautiful, Bucks County Children’s Museum, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Katrina Relief Fund and Goals Beyond the Net. She most recently served as a constituent outreach specialist for a local state representative, said her family.