NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Every two years Leadership Nacogdoches, upon graduation, conducts a class project that pays forward to the community. This year's project will add to a list of gifts enjoyed and used every day.
Leadership Nacogdoches members Dan Chanowski and Vicki Schmidt know big things are about to happen at the old city pool site at Maroney Park, located across from the high school.
"And so the splash pad is going to be somewhere about here. Right here in the middle. It will be about 3,000 square feet," said Schmidt at a site visit.
The splash pad is a Parks Advocacy League project.
When 29 members of Leadership Nacogdoches were looking for a community project of their own, they chose one that would complement PAL's splash pad.
“We decided that we are going to do picnic pavilions,” Chanowski said. “And we want to put together three to four of these picnic pavilions.”
Architect Laura Culpepper, also a Leadership Nacogdoches future graduate, provided the design work pro bono. The look and cost were factors.
“And also simple enough to build because those of us putting it together are mainly novices when it comes to construction,” Culpepper explained.
Leadership members come from all walks of life, but upon graduation each person discovers hidden talents. One class erected a playground at the library.
Another installed bus stops. Their leadership skills are tested when it comes to raising money for the community gifts.
“We’re hosting a fundraiser on May 24 at the Fredonia Brewery, and the doors will open at six p.m.,” Schmidt said. “We’re also looking for donations for that, whether it’s a raffle item or they just want to come and donate money or come and buy raffle tickets. We’re doing everything at the fundraiser. We’re not pre-selling anything.”
With a $15,000 goal, there’s faith community sponsors will come forward.
“And then, from years down the road, we get to come back like other classes have and say, ‘Hey, man, we contributed this as a class. We did this. We put this together,’” Chanowski said.