CHESTER — After several years of work, and a few delays along the way, the Angela Eason Memorial Park is now the home of the Chester Youth League.
Saturday marked the official ribbon cutting for the park which includes two ball fields situated behind the Chester Township garage on State Route 248 just outside of Chester.
The opening of the fields moves the youth league from Baum Fields on the banks of the Shade River which were under the constant threat of flooding every time it rained.
“Many children have grown up in the Chester area playing baseball and softball at Baum fields. The Baum family has very generously allowed us to play there for as long as I can remember. But as we all know, mother-nature looms causing problems most years with the flooding of Shade River. It’s been said over the years that when it rains, Village of Rutland will flood and Chester will cancel ball games,” said Sammi Mugrage, who has worked with the youth league for several years to help build the park, addressing the crowd in attendance on Saturday.
Now, there will not be the danger of the fields flooding with the Angela Eason Memorial Park located on the top of a hill.
Angela Lee Eason, for whom the park is named, was the oldest child of Nora Eason and the late Bob Eason. She has two brothers, Robby and Huey, and a sister, Linda Warner, along with a niece and three nephews.
Angela lived with cerebral palsy her entire life, and outlived the expectations of medical professionals who did not expect her to live much past birth.
“Despite severe cerebral palsy her entire life, she was an active member of the family by attending and participating, to the extent possible, in all family activities. She seemed to particularly enjoy the outdoor sporting and music events. It is in her memory and honor that the Easons have dedicated this land,” said Mugrage. “Angela outlived all predictions due to the love and care she received from her parents, siblings and extended family. She passed away on July 31, 1997, at the age of 43.”
Following Angela’s death, her parents wanted to do something lasting in Angela’s memory. Purchased by the Eason family in December 2000, the 28-acre property where the Angela Eason Memorial Park is located, was part of the Weber Estate.
“It took a lot of time, money, energy and dedication from many people of whom are too countless to possibly list. After a couple stalled attempts, the wonderful people of this community rekindled the spark into the building of these fields and this community park,” said Mugrage.
“The Chester Youth League has worked very hard to get us to where we are today. The leadership and other volunteers have raised money and worked to make this dream come true,” added Mugrage.