Over the course of the past week a couple of things happened in Gonzales County that were pretty significant.
One was the opening of the Splash Pad in the city of Gonzales, and the other one was the Gravel Grinder bike race that took place in Leesville over the weekend. Both were important for this area, and some people deserve a shout out for what they have done.
Let’s talk the Splash Pad first. Late last summer, the noon Lions Club of Gonzales made it their mission to build a splash/water park in the city of Gonzales. Loretta Shirley was the point person on the project, and she and her fellow Lions immediately went to work to procure funding and help bring the water park to Gonzales. On Friday night, the Splash Pad was dedicated, and area children will be the immediate beneficiaries of the new park.
It is important to realize that the Splash Pad is a great enhancement to the quality of life in Gonzales. It is a place for children and their families to gather in the summer time, and it is an added amenity for people who are looking to visit our community. It took a lot of work, sweat equity and dedication to bring the project to fruition, but it was well worth the effort.
To Loretta and all the members of the Lions Club, a sincere thank you and a very deserved “Well Done” is order. Congratulations to all who were involved. That is what service to the community is all about and you should be very proud of yourselves.
A little further to the west, the community of Leesville stepped up to the plate as they hosted their second annual bike race. The Gravel Grinder is a 66-mile gravel road bike race/event, and over 165 bikers came from all over the state of Texas to participate in this event. Pat Myers and his crew from the Leesville Cemetery Association hosted the Gravel Grinder, serving up meals and hospitality up to all of the participants in grand Texas-fashion.
Everyone I talked to on Saturday after the race was over was very complimentary of the hospitality and friendliness of the Leesville staff and their volunteers. They praised the race route, the scenery, the event—but more importantly, they praised the people of the area for their support. Almost to a person the bikers raved about the friendliness and support they received from the people who volunteered and the people who came out of their houses along the bike route to cheer the bikers on. They all said it was one of the top events they had ever participated in, and definitely would be back again.
This is a huge public relations boon for our community, and my hat is off to Pat, Paul and the rest of the wonderful people who helped bring this event to fruition. To all of you, know that your hard work and enthusiasm was noted by people from Dallas to Houston to Johnson City to Austin to San Antonio and all points in between. Because of your kindness, hospitality and hard work, Gonzales County is going to be on the map as a place to come and see it.
Well done Leesville—you hit a home run!
And personally, I would like to thank everyone who made me feel welcome and showed me around the area on Saturday. I appreciate your kindness, and we’ll be back for the flag-raising, the homecoming event, and the fair. I promise.
Terry Fitzwater is the publisher of the Gonzales Inquirer.