Root beer floats and flower leis were generously given out to celebrate a new small bowery dedicated at Riverside Park on Friday, June 20. This was the first major appearance of the city’s new mayor, Ray Little, who took the position after Jim Egbert resigned.
Little has been prominent in leadership and service throughout Morgan; however the responsibilities of this position are new for him. While he enjoys serving our community, public speaking is not his favorite thing. Before the group assembled, he humbly gave credit to many people who have worked on the project. Little feels that Shelly Betz and the Morgan City staff do a tremendous job. “Shelly has drive and vision and gets things done,” Little explained.
After a brief welcome, Little handed the microphone to the driving force of the project, Shelly Betz. With enthusiasm Betz thanked all of the people who helped with the project and gave a brief review of all the work that has transformed the park of the last few years.
Rick Larsen, vice president of marketing for Ragnar Relay, spent the evening at the park as community members enjoyed root beer floats. One of the relay exchange points is at the high school. With 11,000 runners and many supporters, the excited athletes naturally spill over into the park. It was during one of these exchanges that Larsen discovered our city park.
He related to City Councilwoman Shelly Betz how he fell asleep during an exchange and when he woke up, it was light and he discovered he had slept the night in a great little park. Since that time he has heard others make the same comments that Riverside Park is “a great little park.” Since the time Larsen first discovered our park, he has enjoyed visiting on occasion, as well as discovered how he could help as the park has undergone significant renovations.
“He loves our park,” Betz said of Larsen. “He would ask ‘What can we help with?’”
The Ragnar Relay recognizes that the communities the race goes through puts up with congestion and is very grateful for the support Morgan has given them over the years. The organizers wanted to give something back to our community to sincerely say thank you. This gift they have given to Morgan will be something residents will use every summer for years.
Scheels also looks for ways to support the community. The Sandy sporting goods store offers an array of camping, fishing, hunting gear, in addition to basketball, football, soccer and other team sports. A full-size Ferris wheel just begins the fun at this enormous one-stop sports store. A favorite of many Morgan residents is the vast selection of Brigham Young University and University of Utah paraphernalia that is worth the drive.
Ragnar Relay and Scheels worked together to donate $6,000 for an additional small bowery near the splash pad. These covered tables are coveted during the heat of the day and are the first spots taken. This generous gift to the city park is at the east end of the row of small boweries. The bowery sports the Scheels name; however, Ragnar Relay elected to forgo their name on the new table. Scheels enjoys donating to projects like this that benefit communities and that last.
Many other businesses and individuals contributed to the project at the park over the years. George & Dolores Dore` Eccles Foundation, Skyview Excavation, Holcim, Wilkinson Construction, Mecham Brothers, Geneva Rock, Browning, ACE Hardware, Wardell Brothers Construction, Big T Recreation, Rasco Construction, Romero Graphics, Hole in the Wall, Haslam’s Excavation, Ace Fab & Welding, and Gilson Engineering all helped to make all of the amazing improvements at the park that our community will enjoy for years to come.
Frank “Whitey” and Darlene Little contributed a table. Park benches placed around the splash pad were donated by Jason Johnson with Talon Loans, Jerry Peirce real estate, and Carrigan Motors.
Betz graciously thanked all of these wonderful contributors who made the park renovations possible. In addition, she recognized the Morgan City staff who has gone above and beyond with requests the Morgan City Council has brought to them throughout the projects.
The new restroom facility is the last step in renovating the park. It is currently under construction and will be complete later this summer.
Many of the ice cream social attendees used their early arrival at the park to stake claim on a spot to watch the movie in the park. Despicable Me 2 entertained the group of around 100 to 150 people. This annual event brings the community together. Neighbors and friends visit as they wait for the show to start while kids run around together and stand in line for free popcorn that the city provides.
There are four more chances to watch a movie in the park this summer. July 5 is Captain America, July 18 Escape from Planet Earth, Aug. 15 Zookeeper and Aug. 29 Frozen.