Relay for Life Memorial Fountain damaged at Veterans Park

Mali Strong - Contributor

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REMNANTS- The Relay for Life Memorial Fountain remains broken after a teenager hit the memorial with his truck at Veterans Park, according to Public Safety Director Walter Smothers.

Huntingdon’s Veterans Park on Northwood  Drive is known for hosting Relay for Life events in the past and for its Relay for Life Memorial Fountain, which contains bricks of the names of survivors and victims of cancer. However, the recent damage to the fountain highlights what Veterans Park is known for today. It has become a teen hangout with little oversight.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Public Works Director Randy Crossett said he noticed an extended period of this teen activity.

“We’ve been seeing track marks in wet grass, donuts in the parking lots, and trash near the park’s facilities where trash cans are provided,” he said.

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Veterans Park has been known to provide a place for teens to partake of drugs and do vandalism, and drinking. The proof of this can be seen the morning after Friday and Saturday nights when teens often hang out in the area. Other parks such as Kelly’s Complex and Thomas Park remain spotless and well kept in comparison to Veterans Park. The location of Veterans Park makes it an ideal spot for kids to gather, as it is more enclosed and is farther from the high school than Kelly’s Complex.

“There is a concern for engine revving, burnouts, and litter,” said Director of Public Safety, Walter Smothers. “Citizens have also complained about the disrespect of the breaking of the Relay for Life Memorial Fountain.”

For now, the Relay for Life Memorial Fountain is being rebuilt, but the fact remains that Veterans Park receives the brunt end of teenage misbehavior.

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