01/10/18 — Chamber leadership class forges new trail

View Archive

Chamber leadership class forges new trail

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 10, 2018 5:50 AM

Full Size


The Leadership Wayne Class of 2017-18 is raising money to turn the walking trail at Dees Memorial Park in Pikeville into an activity trail. From left Pikeville Mayor Charles Hooks, Town Administrator Lisa Pate, Kelsey Wolfe and Dustin Bannister, all three of whom are Leadership Wayne classmates, talk about the project while at the park on Tuesday.

Full Size


Pikeville Mayor Charles Hooks, left, and Leadership Wayne class members Lisa Pate, who is also the new town administrator, Dustin Bannister and Kelsey Wolfe walk along the town's walking trail. The class plans to turn the trail into an activity trail.



Relax on a bench, or exercise.

Climb a rock wall; walk across a balance beam.

There will soon be plenty of such activities to do on the walking trail at Dees Memorial Park in Pikeville thanks to the efforts of the Leadership Wayne Class of 2017-18.

And class members are in the process of raising funds for the project.

A letter has been sent to local businesses asking for donations for a raffle or if they would be interested in doing a sponsorship.

Prizes are still be collecting for the raffle, but already include a $1,200 credit for use of the Maxwell Center for things such as a company party, a meeting or a wedding.

Other prizes include Amazon Echoes, gift cards and tickets to a show at the Paramount Theatre.

All classmates have access to tickets, but people can also call the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce at 919-734-2241.

Tickets will be drawn March 5, although the time and location have not yet been decided.

The tickets are $10 each or three for $20.

The work is expected to cost $8,000.

"But if we get $10,000 total, we are not going to complain," said James Wade Jr., class member and venue director and general manager of the Maxwell Center. "We will just add a few things, make it better and use what we have got.

"In the agreement with the town of Pikeville is that once we do this and put it in, the town will do the upkeep and make sure it stays in good shape. That is one of the requirements of the projects that we take on in Leadership Wayne."

Leadership Wayne is a Chamber project, and is a really good way for people to learn a lot more about Wayne County, Wade said.

"It doesn't matter whether they have lived here a long time or someone like me who is pretty new to the community," he said. "The stuff we learn is just stuff that you really never thought of."

The program makes a person love one's community even more, said Kelsey Wolfe, class member and sales manager for Carolina Overhead Doors.

"Anyone out there who has an interest, I would definitely tell them to look into it," Wade said. "It starts every fall. One of the things that the leadership classes do is, each class raises money and does a project."

The class had several potential projects to select from, he said.

Pikeville Mayor Charles Hooks said the town is in the process of trying to find lights to put along the walking trail to make it more accessible.

The plan is to have the wiring underground, he said.

"I was ecstatic to hear we were going to get the leadership class over here to do this," he said. "We are really excited about it."

The class also decided the trail needed some improvements because people don't just want to walk nowadays, Wade said.

"They want to be able to take their family somewhere and do something fun and exciting," he said.

So, along with fixing up the trail, the class decided to turn it into an activities trail.

"There will be things along the trail," Wade said. "We will be putting in mile markers so you will know when you have walked that quarter of a mile. We are putting in signage that will have some suggestions for exercises. You can stop and do some exercises here.

"For the kids, we are putting in a rock-climbing wall in one part. We are putting in some balance beams -- warrior ninja kind of stuff for kids to do."

Wolfe said they were referring to the "American Ninja Warrior" television show.

Eight benches have been donated and will be placed along the trail, Wolfe said.

"So you don't necessarily have to be someone looking for exercise," he said. "If you are an older person who can't walk that far, we are spreading some benches out."

There also will be a "free library" near one of the benches.

There is a website people can go to that tells them where free libraries are located across the U.S., Wade said.

"It is a little wood box basically that holds books for kids," he said. "We are especially doing these for kids. You can bring a book and leave it for someone if you have already read it. Or, if you need a book to read, you can take a book out and read it.

"We are encouraging kids to read, and overall it is just a nice assortment of activities for that trail as opposed to a walking trail which is nice, but it's not as useable for everyone."

There will even be a doggie way station for people who take their pets to the trail -- a place for dogs to use the bathroom and bags available for cleanup.

The work will be done in one day at the beginning of April. The date had not been set.

The fundraising is the first step and will be followed by different items being built in advance.

Information about Leadership Wayne is available on the Chamber website, www. wayne countychamber.com.