My Last Season

A long time ago, a gentleman asked me if I would like to be a volunteer member of the Eaton Ruritan Community Park parent committee. I figured since my kid was a part of the little baseball program at the Ruritan, I should do my part to help out. After all, it was just for two years.

Twenty-four years later, I'm still a part of that very same program, but this will be my last season at the park.

Even though I've always, kind of, been the public face of the program, it has taken a lot of people over all these years to make the Ruritan Park the success it has become and I can't thank those folks enough.

The operations of the park are managed by committee. This committee is staffed by all parent volunteers. For the last few years, it has gotten harder and harder to get new folks to become members of the committee. It is a lot of work and takes a lot of personal time to see to the seasonal operations of the park.

Ideally, the committee is a ten member board. Through the years, many, many folks have served time on the park committee. Most for a couple years or more. But as I said before, it's hard to get new people involved now days. Besides myself, the committee is now down to just five other members and some of their spouses and man, they have been great members. They have stuck it out for years even though most of them, like myself, haven't had children in the program for a long time. But, with out a doubt, the person I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to is my wife, Sarah. She's been right there with me from day one. No one has invested more time in the park than Sarah. She's put her twenty-four years in too. We couldn't have done it without her. 

Current committee members are, Jeff Abston, Mike Bluford, Judy Randazzo, Doug Rhodus and Terry Smallwood. I know no way to show my gratitude to these folks for the hard work they've done with the program. Sadly, this will also be the last season for these committee members. We've all come to the end of our service.

You might ask why now. If not now, when? We're all getting old and been doing this for a long time. It's time some new, young, ambitious folks, like we use to be, to step up to the plate and take charge.

The million dollar question is, who's going to run the park next year? Right now my answer is, I don't know. Hopefully some new, young, ambitious parents, like we used to be, will be willing to step forward to take over. Or maybe another civic organization might want to pick up the program. There are options out there.

The Eaton Ruritan Community Park has been a vital part of Loudon County since it's conception back in the mid seventies. Literally, tens of thousands of children have come through our program over the many years of it's existence. I myself am now on my second generation. I've got the kids, now grown ups,  who used to play at the park back now with their kids playing at the park. Makes me feel real old.

I have truely enjoyed my years at the park and I want to personally thank all those hundreds and hundreds of folks who have volunteered their time over the years at the park. From the former and current committee members and all the coaches and parents who have volunteered their time making the Ruritan the largest, most successful youth sports organization in Loudon County. 

The 2013 season kicks off tonight, 4/15, and we're going to have another great season at the park. Come on out and have a happy, happy hotdog. Guaranteed to be the best hotdog you've ever eaten or we'll sell you another one for exactly the same price. Where you gonna beat a deal like that?