Last week, H-E-B presented them with a $2,000 donation. Couple that with a donation from Walmart of $2,000, a $1,000 check from the Barnhart Foundation, $500 from Stripes and their numerous benefits, and this group has raised half of the money, nearly $9,000, they need to purchase and install the new equipment.
“If BEIC approves it, that will get us to the point where we can order the equipment,” said Cheryl Meynig, secretary with the Lions Club. “We are just playing the waiting game.”
The club is recommending a 60-foot item called a Zig-Zag-Zang at a price of $17,678.
The Sports and Recreation Foundation of Beeville also had a hand in getting the equipment here, albeit more as facilitators and advisers.
Bruce Harper, president and founder of the group, said that some of larger donations came in through the foundation because of its nonprofit status. “To date, they have done most if not all of the fund raising,” he said.
Meynig said she wants the park to be a place for everyone.
“It is a nice little park for kids to hang out,” she said. “My grandkids used to hang out there when they were younger.”
On any given day, the park will have a visitor or two. Some come to walk the paths, others bring their youngsters to play.
The park, located between East Corpus Christi and East Bowie streets just east of North Adams Street, is one of the city’s most popular recreational spots.
Meynig said that there is a newer play area at the park right now but it is for younger children.
This one would be for slightly older children capable of playing on the new swings, monkey bars and other contraptions built into the play area.
She, and the others, hope that by having play areas like this, they can encourage young people to head outdoors and get some exercise.
“It is a health issue,” she said. “This particular equipment will do so much for that.”
Harper, sports editor at this newspaper, said that the equipment is more than just a place to play.
“There are things that kids can do on there that will improve their fitness and endurance. It is just not playground equipment.”
Lions Club members have been working on this now for two years raising money.
Earlier this year, the club sold Easter baskets and in November, members sold raffle tickets with the first prize being a $500 Visa gift card along with 18 additional prizes.
About nine months ago, the city council approved the club’s plan for the park.
During that meeting, Kathy Taylor, who was then the Lions President said plans also call for tearing out the existing sidewalks in the park and replacing them with 1,137 feet of walking trail. The existing, 408-foot diagonal sidewalk also would be replaced. All the trails would be made of a Rubber Walk Anti-Fatigue surface.
The walking trail isn’t part of this current plan but will come later, Meynig said.
For now, they are concentrating on the play area.
The second phase of the project will be a $13,420, 22-foot gazebo. That could be used as a picnic facility or a bandstand.
The Dodecagon Gazebo would arrive in Beeville as a kit and could easily be assembled by volunteers.
Meynig said they do not have a date yet that BEIC members will meet. She is hopeful they will approve their requests so that construction can begin on this first phase of the renovation.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.