The Athens Review
A hot and sticky August afternoon Thursday may have been a little warm for a ribbon cutting. But it was ideal for the first kids to soak up the spray at the new Splash Pad at Kiwanis Park.
The splash was turned on a few minutes early after a brief ceremony in the shaded pavilion near the new attraction. Once the flow was turned on, youngsters seemed to have fun getting splashed by water squirting up from the surface or dropped from buckets above.
Kim Hodges, who was a part of the project from the time it was a dream of the Athens Leadership Institute, said the Splash Pad is something for the children today and in the future. She thanked the businesses that stepped up to make the grand-opening event possible.
“We’ve been really tight with our funds and we’re out,” Hodges said.
Hodges said Kiwanis President Adam Davis and Vice President Colin Barrett have been coming to the pad site with portable sprinklers to keep the newly-sodded grass around the pad alive.
Davis, who oversaw the construction of the pad, thanked the construction companies that helped with the project and also members of the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals football team.
“A huge thanks to coach Smiley and the TVCC boys,” Davis said. “We had about 45 football payers up here that put out all this grass in about 30 minutes,” Davis said, “We couldn’t have done it.”
Mayor Jerry Don Vaught called the opening of the Splash Pad a great day for Athens.
“So much hard work has been done by individuals that it’s just incredible,” Vaught said. “I am just thrilled that it has come together like it has and that it’s here at Kiwanis Park – this incredible park that has been a part of Athens’ tradition for many years.”
Vaught said the Splash Pad and city department leaders got behind the project to make it a success.
“We knew it was something that was needed and it would benefit Athens and the young kids here,” Vaught said.
Athens Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mark Rathe said the community came together to make the Splash Pad a reality.
“And what did we do? We did something very special for the next generation of Athens citizens,” Rathe said.
To conclude the remarks, Life Fellowship Pastor and Chamber of Commerce President Mark Allen offered a prayer of thanks for the success of the project.