Last fall the Friends of the Pumpkinvine recently sent out a fundraising appeal to close the gap in the Pumpkinvine between CR 33 and CR 20. As responses to that appeal came, I was struck by the unselfish generosity of seniors toward a project that will benefit others much more than themselves.
Later I met one of those senior donors at a social event and thanked him for his $1,000 contribution. He’s over 90 years old and not able to ride his bike anymore, but he immediately said in response that he gave to the Friends of the Pumpkinvine so that future generations could enjoy the trail.
This generosity of these trail supporters who give so that future generations can enjoy a greenway that links three towns reminds me of the response of seniors to our 1993 appeal to buy the Pumpkinvine corridor. We promised donors then that anyone who contributed $500 toward the purchase of the Pumpkinvine corridor would receive recognition at Abshire Park. Sixty seven households, individuals and organizations took the challenge, and their names are indeed on the sign in the plaza in Abshire Park. I know that at least 13 of those people have died and did not see or use the Pumpkinvine in any significant way. They were motivated by intergenerational thinking.
I look at that plaque occasionally, and quietly thank those who showed their support for a project that many in the community said would be an unqualified disaster – unsafe, a magnet for crime and full of litter. Those same opponents also claimed we didn’t own the land. Yet these 67 people gave anyway. Disregarding the naysayers, they made a down payment on a potential greenway, and because of their willingness to take a chance that it would be successful, we have a greenway that is a community treasure.