A legacy to a supporter of kids

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What a great legacy to a man who loved kids and was deeply concerned about their welfare.

That was the thought going through my mind as I left Monday night’s opening and dedication ceremony at the new eight-field baseball and softball complex at Bill Reynolds Sports Park.

The complex was officially dedicated with the cutting of a ribbon.

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As I watched Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds throw out the first baseball and softball to officially open the season while his dear mother Mrs. Sug Reynolds looked on, my mind flashed back to all those times I took pictures of their dear late father and husband, for whom the sports park is named, throwing out the first pitches at numerous opening ceremonies.

During those times, the late former mayor and my dear friend would always talk about how committed he was to the youth and to youth sports programs.

He expressed his deeply rooted feeling that investing in youth by providing wholesome recreation activities for them would make everyone’s future brighter.

In his remarks at Monday night’s opening and dedication ceremonies, Mayor Reynolds talked about how proud he was to continue his father’s legacy of supporting youth.

There are many people who work hard every day to make Bill Reynolds Sports Park a special place. Those people include Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby, Al Kelley, program director Diane Atkinson, acting Leisure Services director Jason Strickland and tennis pro Tim Thompson, director of the park’s beautiful tennis center.

They, along with Mayor Reynolds, his late father and members of the City Council are tied together by one thread, a great love for children.

Two other great assets to the city’s youth baseball and softball programs are the volunteer coaches and team mothers. They are always there to provide positive influence and loving care to the youngsters.

It takes a lot of dedicated people with a lot of love for children to make a youth sports program run smoothly, and Bainbridge Leisure Services has more than their share.

If you want to experience an entertaining family evening, go out to Bill Reynolds Sports Park and watch the games. I guarantee you will enjoy yourself.

We have as good a youth sports facilities in Bainbridge as you will find anywhere, and that is a tribute to the late Mayor Reynolds, the current Mayor Reynolds and current and former city council members.

If you are investing in youth, you are investing in the future. The baseball, softball and tennis players, who enjoy the fields and courts at Bill Reynolds Sports Park today, will be our city leaders and positive contributors of tomorrow.

I salute all those who made Monday’s opening and dedication ceremonies such a special event.