Lions Club funds playground

Published 9:58 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

A playground for children 7-12 years old will soon be built near Wilck’s Lake Island off West Third Street, thanks to a partnership between the Farmville Lions Club and the Town of Farmville.

The Club donated $65,000 for the equipment, which will have slides, a climbing area with netting and a Lions Club International symbol, according to conceptual art of the playground. The land will be prepared and the equipment will be installed by the town.

Lions Club President Greg Cole said the idea to have a playground in the town was initiated by Darrell Person, president of the club at the time.

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Lions Club International is a community- service organization where projects done by club members include purchases of eyeglasses and hearing aids for people who need them. The Farmville Lions Club chapter was founded in 1925.

“Initially we wanted to provide some shade to the existing playground at the library,” Cole said. “As we discussed the project as a club we felt there was a greater need for a new playground for older children, 7-12. We formed a playground committee chaired by Lion Chris Bolt and through the committee’s effort the project was developed.”

Bolt is also Director of Recreation for the Town of Farmville’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Cole said the land will be on Wilck’s Lake Island property recently purchased by the town. A 7 ½-acre lot of the Wilck’s Lake Island land was purchased by the town for $551,850 in 2017. Town Manager Gerald Spates said the Wilck family looked to sell the property, and that a white house on the property is set to be torn down. Spates said the area where the playground will be is in a well-shaded area of the island.

Cole said the project is one of the largest undertaken by the Farmville Lions chapter in several years. Cole said the club used fundraisers such as its annual golf tournament and broom sale to raise funds. The club was also able to get a matching grant of $32,500 from Lions of Virginia Foundation (LOVF) that helped the project move forward.

“The town is grateful to the Lions club for their extremely generous donation,” Town Mayor David Whitus said. “The Lions Club values our youth and clearly understands the need for recreational opportunities.”

The playground equipment is expected to be ordered this week, and we are awaiting a plan from a consultant to landscape the property.

“It will move pretty quickly,” Spates said.

He said he estimates the playground to be completed at the beginning of 2019.