Pilot Club raises money for J.L. King Memorial Park

First Baptist Church youth leader Neil Tullos and Starkville Academy Coach Chase Nicholson welcome diners to Celebrity Wait Night at Sweet Peppers Deli. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

The Pilot Club of Starkville raised money for a new water bucket feature at the splash pad at J.L. King Memorial park during the club's Celebrity Wait Night and Silent Auction at Sweet Peppers Deli.

Celebrity waiters included former Mississippi State University quarterback Tyson Lee, Starkville Academy Coach Chase Nicholson, former MSU Vice President Roy Ruby, Starkville High School Principal Sean McDonnell, First Baptist Church youth leader Neil Tullos, Mayor Lynn Spruill, Director of Wellness at Oktibbeha County Hospital Eddie Myles, WCBI anchor Aundrea Self, Starkville Police Department Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady, MSU Volleyball Coach Julie Darty and Miss New South Tanner Fant.

"It was a huge success and we had a wonderful turn out," Pilot Club of Starkville President Ellen Boles said. "We met our goal and money-wise we did really well. We were raising money for a water bucket feature for the splash pad at J.L. King Memorial Park, and we raised enough money that with other funds we've already received we were able to purchase that."

The water bucket will be installed at the splash pad in early summer within a couple of months, Boles said. Starkville Parks and Recreation Interim Director Gerry Logan said the water bucket feature will be a welcome addition to J.L. King Memorial Park.

"We're excited to continue our partnership with the Pilot Club and appreciate the soon-to-be-added new water bucket feature," Logan said. "The splash pad at J.L. King Park is a great amenity in our parks system and
this makes it an even more attractive option for family fun."

The Pilot Club of Starkville has been raising money to improve Starkville's parks for many years"We put a music trail out at McKee Park a few years back, and that was a much larger project," Boles said. "We put nine playground musical instruments on the music trail. It took us about five years to get all that accomplished."

Boles said after the success of the music trail at McKee Park, the club wanted to do something similar at J.L. King Memorial Park as well, and the club raised money for musical instruments for that park too.

"Pilot Club is part of Pilot International, which has clubs in most of the United States and other countries," Boles said. "The mission of that is to improve the community, help the youth and also prevent brain injury and enhance brain development."

Boles said the musical instruments enhance brain development, and the instruments and new water bucket feature will be accessible to those in a wheel chair.

"If a child is in a wheel chair, they can come out there in a swimming suit and that would be a better way for them to enjoy the splash pad than the other features that shoot water up because that may not be as much fun for a child in a wheelchair," Boles said.