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Park Dedication held in Snodderly’s honor

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By Charlotte Underwood

“Kids first…Always.”  

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Ken Snodderly’s words will never be forgotten as they now adorn the entrance sign of the new Ken Snodderly Park in LaFollette.

 “Our God is so good, surely Ken is up there watching as well,” said his wife Betty Snodderly to the numerous officials, friends and family in attendance.

Around $600,000 went into building the park, with most of the funding coming from donations.  The city ended up spending only around $100,000, according to City Administrator David Young.

Young said he hopes the park will become a focal point for citizens of Campbell County for many years to come.

Many people spoke of Snodderly on Friday, recalling memories of a man who truly care about his family, friends and community.  Tears and laughter abounded as people shared stories about him.

“He used to drag me up here all the time, even at night,” said Betty Snodderly with a bittersweet smile as she recalled the many walks to the soccer field with her husband.

“It’s not about the dedication,” said Betty Snodderly.  She said she was sure her husband was honored at having the park named after him, but that the true honor came in providing for the children. “It’s that our children have a place to play, that’s the important thing; that the city is recognizing our children, that’s what Ken was all about.”

With his family gathered to unveil the park sign and cut the ribbon, Ken Snodderly must have surely smiled from up above as his grandson Cooper Lusby kicked the first soccer goal ever at the new Ken Snodderly Park.

“Ken Snoderly was always willing to do for his community; his heart was as big as this soccer field,” said LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield.

“Ken backed this project 100-percent and was up here two or three times a week when we were getting it started in 2007,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Johnny Byrge.

The new park amenities include a 1,600-foot walking trail, which is eight feet wide. St. Mary’s of LaFollette helped to fund the walking trail in order to encourage people to be more fit, according to Byrge.  

There is also a paved parking lot, a 250-foot by 500-foot long soccer field, as well as a new concession stand and rest rooms.  It also has a sizeable bandstand, picnic tables, electrical outlets and new fencing all around the park.  A 40-foot flagpole provided by Peoples Bank of the South was erected last Wednesday morning in honor of the Campbell County Honor Guard.