Centennial Park Turns 15

Submitted by Maggie Blackwell:

It’s hard for me to believe we are about to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Centennial Park here in Fulton Heights. 

So much has changed in the intervening time. The kids who served on the playground committee to select equipment – Emalee Young, Emma and Maddy Labovitz and others, have all graduated from college.

The name of the park was Amanda Bosh’s brainchild, as the neighborhood was just about to recognize its 100th anniversary. Amanda has since moved from her twin house on Mitchell Avenue, but the park name is a classic one and I appreciate her vision. 

Leila Fairies, who lived on Wiley Avenue, closed her beauty shop for a day so she could remove all telltale equipment and we hosted a KILLER of a party that night, April 8, 2005, where we raised $8,800 auctioning off goods and services, many of which were donated by our own neighbors. The Cunninghams on Wiley Avenue built and donated a bookshelf. Emily Brinskelle on Maupin Avenue, who has also moved on, donated a hotly-contested original painting. Many, many other neighbors donated items, and virtually every vendor in town gave something. Teresa Pitner on Wiley Avenue was a bulldog in asking people for donations. The auction would not have happened without her. A neighbor got a vendor to donate beer and wine. Another got Catawba students to serve as bartenders. A local teenager with an iPod and speakers served as DJ. 

After the party, Mandy Monath on Mitchell Avenue organized the sale of personalized bricks that border the sidewalks. Jean Hudson on Maupin Avenue, who has since passed away, bought the first brick, taking the cash from her freezer where her son-in-law required her to keep it. The Hoffman family on Mitchell purchased a bench to honor their mom. 

Of course there are names I have forgotten and for that I apologize. Each and every contribution to the park, whether it was financial, tangible or labor, is so important and made our park what it is today.

All in all, we raised about $54,000 for the City of Salisbury to build the park. Although they performed the physical labor, the park would not have been possible without the love and labor of our neighbors here in Fulton Heights. 

And that, my friends, is why I love our neighborhood. 

Submitted by Maggie Blackwell