Area business owners and organizations are pitching in for security upgrades and other improvements at Ewing Park.
AA Bottled Gas owner David Pinkstaff issued a “Restore Ewing Park Challenge” to others in the community Dec. 12 via social media with the post, “Let’s work together to improve facilities such as the lighting, tennis courts and jogging track.”
Pinkstaff frequently exercises at the park, utilizing the jogging trail.
He donated $500 and asked other business owners to “step up and help raise funds for improvements.”
In response, Callahan Masonic Lodge No. 32 members presented a $1,200 check Dec. 28 to Town of Callahan Parks and Recreation Commissioner Janet Shaw.
“We decided to we would accept the challenge and bring the $1,200 in,” said Worshipful Master Brian Jahay, adding that he saw Pinkstaff’s challenge on social media. “We would love to see more businesses accept the challenge. The original challenge was $500, but we wanted to do more.”
Brandies Ace Hardware co-owner Raymond Fachko also donated $500.
“I’ve been interested in the park for a long time,” he said. “I hauled dirt in here before it was even a park.”
Town officials have also received a $100 donation from Sisters in the Word Bible Fellowship Group in memory of Kathy Smith, who served the Callahan Town Council and attended Callahan First Baptist Church.
Shaw highlighted her wish list as the group assembled for the brief donation ceremony.
“We would love to have cameras,” she said. “The cameras are pretty much needed.”
It could cost the town as much as $36,000 to install security cameras, according to Shaw.
Because the park has been vandalized numerous times in recent years, the council recently discussed ways to increase park security. On Dec. 7, Spring Lake Estates resident LJ Walters expressed an interest in helping with repairs at Ewing Park. He is part of a group of parents who homeschool their children.
The group that includes nearly 100 children visits the park for recreation once a week when the weather permits. He suggested repairs and improvements to areas around the park and additional ideas to update drainage issues. Council President Ken Bass told him the concerns would be addressed.