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Park project for slain Schaffhausen girls officially launches

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A project to honor three River Falls, Wis., girls slain by their father last year will officially kick off Thursday afternoon, the Pioneer Press reports.

Organizers envision a public park to memorialize the Schaffhausen sisters, Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, with more than 7,000 feet of play space, at an estimated cost of $555,000. About $80,000 has been committed already.

Members of the Schaffhausen family are expected to talk about the project at a media conference at 2 p.m. at Hoffman Park in River Falls, the Pioneer Press reports.

Fundraising efforts include the sale of artwork by the girls. Buyers can bid on the artwork at Gallery 120 in River Falls, where an art show will open the auction from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, the Pioneer Press reports.

Prosecutors say Aaron Schaffhausen killed his daughters as an act of revenge against his ex-wife Jessica. He mounted an insanity defense but last month was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Jessica Schaffhausen said in a recent interview that she is coping with the tragedy in part by focusing on the park project. Going to a nearby park was one of the girls' favorite things to do, she said.

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