Leadership class outfits park pavilion with tables

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — When the Leadership Natchez class of 2009 looked at the empty pavilion at Duncan Park, their decision for a community service project was obvious.

“After we went around and looked at the different education and social services, the one main need that we all kept coming back toward was recreation, and that was something we all feel strongly about,” Leadership Natchez class of 2009 member Beth D’Angeles said.

By unanimous vote, the class of 2009 decided to piggyback off of the 2008 class’ project, which was to build a pavilion at Duncan Park, Leadership Natchez class of 2009 member Douglas Smith said.

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And now, the pavilion is host to six six-foot long picnic tables.

The idea was presented to both of the Leadership Natchez classes by Natchez Recreation Director Ralph Tedder.

“The reason I proposed this project a couple of years ago was because we need picnic pavilions in every park,” he said. “People like to get together and meet and eat meals and socialize together, and pavilions are good for that.”

Since almost the moment the tables were placed, they have been in use, Tedder said.

“We just opened (the pavilion) as soon as we got the tables put in and anchored to the concrete slab,” Tedder said. “There were people using it immediately after.”

The entire project represents an approximately $34,000 investment, Tedder said.

“We all had to put our ideas together, and all of us together made it happen,” he said.

Construction for the 2008 class’ pavilion was completed earlier this year, and Tedder bought the tables upfront.

Now, the class of 2009 is raising money to pay for the tables.

While Leadership Natchez members are asking their employers for a donation as well as sending out fliers, Smith said anyone who wanted to donate could send a check to him at Regions Bank, Frances Cothren at Britton & Koontz Bank or to the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce marked care of Leadership Natchez.

Leadership Natchez is a leadership development program affiliated with the chamber of commerce formed in 1986.

The Leadership Natchez class is composed of area business people nominated by their employers.