On Tuesday, June 14, during the citizen comment portion of the Morgan City Council meeting, Crystal Middleton approached the council on behalf of her husband, Chad, who passed away earlier in the month. Mayor Ray Little expressed his condolences for her loss.
“Chad struggled as a teen,” said Crystal. She told the story of her husband and how he had straightened out his life and was building a legacy here in Morgan. The couple now has two pre-teen boys of their own, “who miss their father very much.”
When Chad was about 16 years old, he and Oliver [Middleton] approached the Morgan City Council about creating a skate park at Riverside Park to give kids a safe place to hang out and be active while doing what they love. The council approved the project and wheels were set in motion.
Chad developed a plan for the skate park, helped with fundraisers and really put his whole heart into it. “I helped a little, but Chad was really the driving force,” said Oliver. Crystal added that her husband was very proud of being a part of a positive change.
“It meant a lot for him to be able to take his kids to a place he helped to create. I would like to be able to take my kids here and them be able to see Chad’s name attached to it somehow,” requested Crystal.
The council asked her to clarify what she was asking from them to which she responded, “I am at your mercy. A plaque, a bench, whatever the council is willing to do.” Crystal expressed appreciation for funding original labor on the project as well as the ongoing maintenance at the skate park.
Councilman Tony London said that he recalled Chad approaching the council all those years ago and said that he was impressed then that such a young kid wanted to be involved. “It was a scary thing for these little 16-year-olds to get up in front of the council,” said Crystal.
Councilman Bill Cobabe choked up and expressed his love for the idea. “This is why I always say that it is important to involve our youth in these park projects. It gives them a sense of ownership and pride because they helped. Because of your husband’s involvement, he has affected thousands of kids,” said Cobabe.
The council agreed to put the item on a future agenda for discussion. They promised to keep her in the loop about when that discussion would take place.