LAKE CITY, S.C. – People filled the area in front of the new Blanding Street Baseball Field on Monday morning in Lake City for a special dedication ceremony.
The dedication was attended by several state and local leaders, community members and young athletes who will utilize the space. Guests heard remarks from several contributors to the project and were able to enjoy refreshments commonly served at baseball games, including hotdogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
The new area includes baseball fields and plenty of space for parking and other development.
Lake City Parks and Recreation Director Cynthia Mallette said she first wanted to thank her “heavenly father” for the great things he has done for everyone who was in attendance Monday. And next on her list of thanks was Dr. Eddie Floyd, who donated the property that the new Blanding Street Baseball Field sits on.
“It takes a very special person to give up his inheritance for the good of the people of the community,” Mallette said. “Dr. Floyd, we couldn’t do it without you. And you, again, are Lake City’s finest.”
Floyd said although he lives in Florence, he loves and tells everyone that he is from Lake City. He shared his experiences with the crowd on Monday of attending school in Lake City and working at the swimming pool at Lions Park.
Floyd said Monday was quite a day.
“You know, what strikes me more than anything else is the cooperation that we have in this area,” Floyd said. “You take everybody involved – you see here today, you see the county, the city, state representatives, everybody puts in something.”
He said that is what makes it work.
“And you know, as a member of the … Bruce and Lee Foundation for years, we have always said that we wouldn’t fund anything unless the people participated fully,” Floyd said.
Mallette said she thanks the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation for its contribution to the facility and looks forward to receiving many more contributions.
In her list of thanks, Mallette also recognized the assistance of the Florence County Council, S.C. Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. and several others.
“As you look behind me and around me, you don’t see a building or facility in which we can play basketball, have amateur wrestling, volleyball, kids’ birthday parties, concerts, gospel concerts, country, rock and pop,” Mallette said. “But our vision is one day, those facilities will take place.”
Judge Gilleon Frierson gave remarks at Monday’s ceremony and said the Blanding Street Baseball Field is planned to be the first phase of what will become the cornerstone of recreation in Lake City for decades to come.
“We can envision a state-of-the-art facility for recreation and community events, walking trails,” Frierson said. “There’s a plan, or at least a vision, for an adaptive playground that will facilitate and accommodate individuals who are using wheelchairs, even children with spectrum disorders.”
The new space is the perfect epitome of community relationship and partnership, Frierson said.
Lake City Mayor Lovith Anderson Jr. said the purpose of Monday’s event was to show folks what happens when everybody works together. Teamwork counts in anything people do, he said.
“I appreciate everything that each of you have done in your respective ways, and we look forward to our future endeavors and working together to continue to make Lake City a greater community than it already is,” Anderson said.