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Improvements to Waverly City Park celebrated with ribbon-cutting

Improvements to Waverly City Park celebrated with ribbon-cutting

WMSK Staff

June 26th, 2017

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Waverly resident Charlie Willett, center, prepares to cut the ribbon at the renovated Waverly City Park while surrounded by family, public officials and friends at a ceremony on Monday, June 26, 2017. Willett undertook most of the work to freshen up and add equipment to the park, which dates to the early 1970s.

WAVERLY, Ky. — When Charlie Willett retired in from his carpet installation business in 2015, he wasn’t sure what lie in store for him.

Little did he know that this spring, a big project would present itself: Fixing up the Waverly City Park.

The park, located on Johnson Street next to the Knights of Columbus Hall, had been established in the early 1970s. In recent years, time had begun to show on the aging playground equipment.

“It’s been needing some work for some time,” Waverly Mayor David Wolfe said. The city had pursued a grant to pay for improvements, but without success.

Finally, Willett, who serves on the Waverly City Council, decided to take matters into his own hands. With supplies provided by the city, he set about in April to repaint a merry-go-round at the park.

“It probably hadn’t been painted in 20 or 30 years,” Willett said. With fresh paint, it looked almost brand new.

“Then the slide looked bad,” he said. So he repainted that as well.

Each improvement called attention to other work that was needed at the park.

“I didn’t intend to do it all,” Willett said. But one thing led to another, including the repainting of a see-saw and jungle gym as well as the repainting and installation of new chains on a swing set.

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A kiddie slide needed to be assembled. Willett built a wooden picnic table with lumber supplied by the KC Hall. And to protect that table as well as a metal picnic table that had been in storage, he assembled a carport over a newly poured concrete slab, complete with a new sign for the park.

Willett’s routine was that he would play golf in the morning, then work in the park in the afternoon. There was just one challenge:

“I couldn’t keep the kids off (the playground equipment) long enough to paint,” he said. “People don’t appreciate how much this park is used.”

He had help from people such as his friend Steve Payne at the KC Hall as well as support from his wife, Linda.

On Monday, June 26, public officials, members of Willett family, friends and others turned out to thank him for his efforts with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park organized by the Union County Chamber of Commerce and Kyndle.

“Charlie’s really been ambitious about getting this done,” Mayor Wolfe said in remarks at the ceremony.

Pat Clements read remarks prepared by her husband, Magistrate Joe Clements (who was attending elected officials training in Henderson), in which he quoted Babe Ruth: “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

Union County Judge-executive Jody Jenkins was also on hand for the ceremony.

“It makes me so proud,” his daughter Angie Hagedorn said of her father’s volunteer work. “… He couldn’t be a better example for my children and the children of Waverly.”

“I appreciate all the help,” Willett said.

“The main thing is, the kids can enjoy it,” he said.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Chuck Stinnett at chuck@kyndle.us or 270-826-7505

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