CULVER, OR -- Kids in Culver have a new way to beat the heat, thanks to a yearlong volunteer effort. The new splash park is in memory of 10-year-old Brandon Johnson who died of a brain tumor, last year.
Denise Woods came up with the idea to honor Brandon with the splash pad, and approached the City Council. "Little Brandon was just a giving young soul. He gave everything he had, and he thought of others before himself. He was truly a little guy that loved God and wanted to share God's love with others and his love that he had for others." She then began recruiting volunteers and collecting donations from local Rotary Clubs and individuals. "It was a team effort, but I want to give God glory. I totally believe - and I don't use the word 'miracle' lightly - But, in today's economy, in today's selfishness - to have just the outpouring of goodwill and love towards this community was awesome." Wilsonville-based Anderson Poolworks donated labor and materials after learning about the project. The company also gave an extra $1,000 to help with ongoing maintenance costs.
The splash park opened on Saturday. "We estimate, conservatively, that 350-400 people came to the dedication. A big contingency from Brandon's family from the Valley and other parts of Oregon, and even an uncle from Minnesota came for the grand opening," says Woods. "They probably had about 40 people from their family, and the rest was community, friends and family, people who donated."
So far, she says the response has been incredible. "We've driven by and there have been more people out there. I know on hot days, it's usually too hot to go enjoy doing anything local, in town. Having this just right here, smack dab in the middle of town, it's a place to cool off. And, I know there's less kids hanging around their video games or just sitting on the couch watching a movie or TV, or whatever."