, 2022-10-17 08:17:00,
The amount of money we spend on recreation seems to be of growing importance. Such amenities as golf courses, ball fields, gym memberships, bowling, disc golf courses, hunting, pickleball courts and other hobbies can determine livability for many young people — and to be fair, older works and retirees, too. It also can provide an increase in taxes or, for such things as amusement parks, serve as a drawing card and boost the local economy.
That’s why the generous gifts recently of two late Norfolkans are both inspiring and deeply appreciated. Funds for many things we often take for granted, such as a sidewalk around a lake, have to come from somewhere. Government entities must tax, charge user fees or rely on donors.
Norfolk was blessed twice recently within recent weeks from generous donations.
The estate of a former Norfolk jeweler will benefit skate enthusiasts in the Norfolk community.
The City of Norfolk announced last month that it would add to Miracle Skatepark thanks to a donation from the late Lee W. DeKarske. Mr. DeKarske — who owned and operated Lee’s Jewelry for more than 40 years before his death in 2021 — had requested the $114,201 donation be used for the construction of a pump track at the skate park.
Nate Powell, director of parks and recreation for Norfolk, said a pump track is a circular loop with hills and berms. If ridden correctly, there is no need to pedal or push on a pump track, he said.
“They’re great for bicycles, skateboards, inline skates, wheelchairs and scooters,” Powell said. “This gift is very much appreciated and will help provide new opportunities for all.”
The City of Norfolk was the recipient of another recent donation. The family and representatives of Mahlon “Jack” Kohler of Norfolk presented $250,000 to be used for the construction of a fishing dock in Kohler’s name, which will be handicap accessible and usable by young children at Skyview Lake.
Additionally, a table and bench with recognition to Jack and Norma Kohler will be placed in the area of the bandstand. Any remaining funds will be used to develop the area and the walk path near the new East Norfolk Avenue Bridge, next to where Kohler grew up.
Mr. Kohler also requested the remainder of his estate — $940,000 — be used for the development and construction of sports facilities and infrastructure to provide…
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