Nanih Waiya Community Park moving along

The Board of Directors of the Friends of Nanih Waiya Community Park, a non-profit corporation, met Thursday, September 5th to discuss the status of the park and to conduct some necessary business. Ellis Houston, a major contributor to the park opened with a report of how the land purchase is progressing. At this time it is his hope that his purchase of the land will be complete in the next week or so and then the property will be sold to the Park. At that time the land clearing and park design can begin. He also expressed some ideas regarding fund raising and that he would be soliciting some additional funds as well.

Board president, Jerry Hemphill, opened the meeting by introducing the Board of Directors. They are as follows:

Jerry Hemphill-President, Gale Gregory-V. Pres, Les Miles- Treasurer, Carla Holdiness-Secretary, Bennie Sanders-Director, Lester Holdiness-Director, and Penny Young-Director

Other business discussed included the opening of a bank account and the authorization to begin accepting donations, contributor recognition levels of Bronze(up to $499), Silver($500 to $999), Gold($1K to $4999), Platinum($5K to $9999) and Diamond ($10K+). The Board also discussed a brochure developed by Kristy Woodruff and voted to allow Kristy to print 500 of the brochures as soon as possible.

The majority of the meeting was devoted to fund raising. One suggestion from the community was to host a 5K fun run. Expanding on that, Hemphill suggested that they make it a community Halloween or Fall Festival with games and inflatables and vendors along with the race. It was agreed to pursue this and see what dates make sense and meet again soon to decide. Hemphill also suggested that the group target 20 people to donate $1,000 each (since one community member had already pledged that amount). Mark Dillard agreed with this method adding that the group should target 29 people since they already have received a pledge of $10,000 if they raise $10,000. Therefore if they can find 29 people to donate $1000 plus the $10,000 they would be able to pay off the land immediately. The Board agreed and will begin searching for these individuals right away.

Buddy King, Winston County EMA Director, was also invited to the meeting to discuss grant opportunities. He stated that there are numerous grants available and many ways to get them. He volunteered to do some research for us on his own time and hopefully have a report for the next meeting. He also suggested working closely with our county and city officials to locate grants and to seek out corporate sponsorships as well. The Board thanked Mr. King for the information and looks forward to hearing from him soon.

Currently the park project priorities are: Pay off the land cost, clear the land and design the park, construct the walking track, the community center and the playground. With the support and buzz in the community about this park, there should be no problem getting this going very soon. For more information on the park, join their facebook page at or search on facebook for Friends of Nanih Waiya Community Park. Feel free to contact any of the Board members regarding donations or if you want to remain anonymous you can send a donation to PO Box 83 Louisville, MS 39339.