Looking for shelter

First Posted: 5/5/2015

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Hillside Park volunteer and Newton Township resident Wyatt Sebring, 16, said often times when he’s lending a hand at the park, he seeks shelter from rain and thunderstorms in the softball shed.

“I’d have to sit in the softball shed on a tractor,” Sebring said.

Sebring is a Life Scout working towards Eagle Scout ranking with Clarks Summit Troop 160 and by June he hopes he’ll have the funds he needs to build a permanent 8-by-8-foot rain and lightning shelter at the park. The Abington Heights High School sophomore said he has taken on the project to give back and to fulfill requirements for an Eagle Scout badge award and is looking for support from the community.

“I’ve been thinking about it (a lightning rain shelter) for a while,” said Sebring. “I’m glad to give back to the park because I’ve been here so many times. I’m also glad I can build something that’ll be long-lasting.”

Sebring is currently working on plans for a shelter modeled after an existing structure he helped to erect at South Abington Park.

“I thought that one (South Abington Park) was really cool, so I want to do that one,” explained Sebring, and he isn’t alone in his campaign to raise money for his project.

He’s partnering with Clarks Green resident Linda Young, a former Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB) member, which manages Hillside Park, and the founder of the Forever Young Kids’ Fishing Derby, named in memory of her husband, Lawrence E. “Bud” Young six years ago and the fishing derby committee.

Sebring and Young had a similar vision for a shelter, according to Young.

“We (the committee and I) wanted a dock and a lightning protection shelter (located near the nature trails and loading area). I found out before an AAJRB meeting started, Wyatt Sebring was requesting to build a lightning and rain shelter. The project came together in less than 24 hours,” Young said. “Our goal is to raise the money for the shelter and a new dock through a raffle.”

The dock will have a stationary walkway that will allow anglers to fish in deeper waters. Once the dock and shelter are completed, Young said plans are also in the works to connect these with a memorial area that will honor deceased park volunteers.

Young noted, “…We have created a project to remember Tom Roberts, park and fishing derby volunteer, and all others who have volunteered at the park in any capacity. Whatever form these memorials take such as bricks, stones, etc., the names will be engraved and placed for volunteers at no charge. We will also make something similar available to the citizens of the Abington area for a park donation yet to be decided. I think Bud would be very pleased with these plans and I hope honored that it all started with a wish to remember him.”

Raffle tickets are $10 and proceeds will be used to fund the dock and shelter project. First prize is $1,000, second prize: $250 and third prize: $100 and the drawing will be held at the Forever Young Kids’ Fishing Derby at Hillside Park on Saturday, June 13.

Tickets are available through Chuck Parry at Edward Jones, 408 S. State St. and the Clarks Summit Borough Office; members of the Abington Heights Civic League, Inc., Waverly Masonic Lodge number 301, Abington Lions Club and the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board. Tickets will also be available during the Memorial Day Parade in front of the Clarks Summit Borough Building and during Missy Softball games at the park. For more raffle ticket information, contact Linda Young, 570-586-5809.

Sebring is also seeking donations of building materials, including wood, lightning protection, concrete pad, and shingles, and is also looking for volunteers to help with the building project. Anyone willing to lend a hand should contact Sebring at 570-878-6609 or email newtonwyatt@comcast.net.

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