There were almost as many "thank yous" as there were dollars raised for a playground at American Legion Park in Decatur when the new play area was dedicated on Wednesday.
One of the chief organizers of Mothers Of Preschoolers (MOPS), Abby Dyer, told a large crowd that the MOPS committee has raised more than $52,000, which was used to buy the expansive and expensive playground equipment plus several large loads of mulch to spread around the play area.
However, Dyer added, donations are still being accepted because MOPS plans to erect an archway on Oak St. for formal access to the park, which also fronts on Winchester St.
Dyer first thanked everyone in MOPS, the other eight being Annette Gower, Sarah Johnson, Kara Martin, Mandy Arnold, Emily Hower, Kris Nussbaum, Nicole Baker, and Mary Collier.
She then commended "our husbands, children, family, and friends who have stood behind us throughout this entire project" and also thanked the Decatur park system and board, the many financial contributors, volunteers, and "the entire community."
She made special note of the children who helped raise funds for the playground.
"We saw a need in our community, made a plan that's been changed a couple of times, and ran with it! Our dream is now a reality! We have all of you to thank for that," Dyer stated. "We look forward to the memories that will be made here."
Mayor John Schultz lauded MOPS for doing all the fundraising without seeking monetary aid from the city, saying, "They took it upon themselves." He noted that instead of MOPS members thanking the community, the community should be thanking MOPS.
The new playground gives Decatur "one of the better park systems in Indiana," said the mayor, and is another selling point when he gives pitches to businesses and industries considering locating here.
Steve Krull, superintendent of the parks and recreation department, said the playground has been and will continue to be well used by children and families.
The event ended with a blessing of the site by Rev. Martha Lyon of First United Methodist Church, after which supper was served to all.