We are beginning the community build of the new Kids Kastle in March and we need you! There is a job for everyone age 14 and up. You don’t need any special skills, just a desire to be part of a community project that will impact you and generations to come! Really, there are no special skills required, tools and safety equipment will be provided along with training on site. Please consider signing up at SpeakUpHV.com and joining me and my family as we build the new Kids Kastle! Build dates are March 23-26 for Phase 1 and March 31-April 5 for Phase 2. Just go to SpeakUpHV.com and select “Come Build with Us” to sign up!
Kids Kastle was originally designed and built by the community in 1994. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1999 and our community raised the funds, designed and built a bigger and better Kids Kastle. Over the years so many of us have played at Kids Kastle with our kids and like me, our grandkids. After 20 years, the playground is in need of replacement. Funding for the project was approved by the voters in a 2017 bond election. Voters approved the project at an estimated base cost of $600,250.00, which will build a nice accessible playground. Our ultimate goal is to build a playground for people of all ages and abilities making it an All-Abilities Playground that supports social interaction, cognitive development, and will promote and encourage inclusion with kids and adults with special needs. Continuing the original desire of our community, we chose to involve the community again to help us fund, design, and build the new all-abilities play structure. There are so many ways you can help. We need sponsors, food donors, and volunteers. We have nine build days scheduled and need 80-100 volunteers each day. Several who were part of the original build have told us how their involvement was a life-changing opportunity.
So far the community – kids and adults – have been involved in the design of the new playground. Several members of our community have volunteered to serve on committees to help with fundraising, food donations, public relations, materials and tools, and volunteers. Now we need you to be part of this “once in a generation opportunity” by signing up to volunteer. Visit SpeakUpHV.com for information and to sign up as a volunteer for the community build.
I am very glad to tell you about how we are honoring former Highland Village resident, Aaron M. Hudson. Several residents formed the Friends of PFC Aaron M. Hudson group and requested we name an amenity after Aaron Hudson who was killed in action on April 16, 2005 while serving his country in Iraq.
PFC Hudson grew up in Highland Village, his home was close to Doubletree Ranch Park and I’m told he often played on the property or fished out of the pond. It is a perfect tribute to Aaron to name the pedestrian bridge connecting Doubletree Ranch Park to the pedestrian crossing to the DCTA A-train in memory of him.
A group of residents formed the Friends of PFC Aaron M. Hudson group and followed the procedure for naming a city amenity. Council approved naming the pedestrian bridge the PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge. Along with that, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a storyboard and stone monument to honor PFC Hudson and his sacrifice. The committee has a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $10,000 to fund the storyboard and monument. You can learn more about it and Aaron at www.facebook.com/pfcAaronHudson. We are planning a dedication ceremony in April, I will provide more details as they become available.
I have seen some posts on social media asking about fun things to do in Highland Village. A great resource is found on Facebook and Instagram at ExperienceHighlandVillage. Just as the name says, if you follow us on Facebook and Instagram you will learn about our restaurants, service providers, businesses and fun things to do in Highland Village. You can always check out www.thehvba.com for an online directory of everything we have in Highland Village – and I know you’ve heard me say it before, we do have it all in Highland Village.
There are a couple events coming up that you’ll want to attend:
February 27, 2020 is the McAuliffe Chili Cook Off.
March 5, 2020 is our Highland Village Business Association Community Coffee where County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell will be providing an update.
Our Highland Village General Election will take place on Saturday, May 2 with the opportunity to early vote as well. Filing for a place on the ballot concludes on February 14, 2020. My fellow Council members, Jon Kixmiller, Barbara Fleming, and Robert Fiester, are up for re-election and have filed. I have filed for my last term on Council as your Mayor. It is an honor to serve our great City and all the businesses and residents as the Mayor.
I hope to see you around our wonderful city!