“Appalachian Ace Hardware is proud to be a part of The Parrish Park project because of the history and function that the Park provides the Macon County Community,” said Joh Patrick, owner of Appalachian Ace. “This park will continue to be a place for the people of Macon County to gather and watch our young people play sports. Appalachian Ace Hardware is just going clean up and beautify an already beautiful place.”
The Ronnie Parrish Memorial Park was established by the Macon Middle School PTO and community volunteers after Ronnie passed away in 1995. Ronnie dedicated his life to educating children in Macon County, beginning his career in 1969. Ronnie worked at several schools in Macon County, teaching social studies, before beginning his work at Macon Middle School in 1977. Ronnie remained an educator for the middle school for 18 years and continued teaching until right before he passed away.
After Ronnie passed away, and with the help of his wife Margaret, teachers and PTO at Macon Middle School began the process of constructing Parrish Park as a way to honor his legacy. With a donation from Caterpillar, and volunteer work from several local businesses, Parrish Park was built on the hill up from the sports complex at Macon Middle School in 2000.
Today, the park is one of the most used recreation facilities in the community, serving residents as a place for birthday parties, family reunions, picnics and more. Teachers at Macon Middle School also regularly use the park for outdoor classes and activities. The park includes picnic tables, originally donated to the project by the Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps in 1996, and a covered pavilion.
Josh met with Macon Middle School Principal Scot Maslin to look at the pavilion and construct a plan to revitalize the facility to better serve the community. With two decades of wear and tear on the park, Appalachian Ace Hardware plans to work with Macon Middle School to landscape the park and replace old plants no longer blooming around the pavilion. Addressing drainage issues around the pavilion as well as an overall cleanup of and refresher of the park is also on the agenda.
In addition to Appalachian Ace Hardware, Fox Mercantile, located next door to Ace, will also be donating a portion of proceeds from the April 14 sale day to the project.
“I spent many hours at that park recording weather patterns in Mr. Yonce’s class and warming up for soccer games throughout middle and high school, so it’s kind of a part of who I am and a part of any student that went to Macon Middle,” said Nick Potts, owner of Fox Mercantile. “I just hope for the students of today and the future that they will have the opportunities that I did in the public schools. Now that we are grown and out of school, it’s our turn to give back however we can whether it’s through labor or donating a portion of our sales. So, we owe a big thanks to all of those who orchestrated the original park and to Mr. Maslin and Josh at Appalachian Ace for getting this ball rolling.”
Appalachian Ace Hardware and Fox Mercantile will be donating 10% of all sales on Saturday, April 14 to the Parrish Park Renovation Project. Members of the community wanting to contribute to the park will also have the opportunity to donate toward the project or purchase plants that will be used in the landscaping around the pavilion. The Macon Middle School PTO will also be at the sale day to provide additional information about Parrish Park, its history, and its current role in the community.