Great Bend’s ‘Lee Wiegand Memorial Park’ to undergo major renovations
GREAT BEND, P.A. -- Lee Wiegand was just 20 years old when he lost his life in Iraq while serving in the National Guard in 2005.
His family describes him as a loving and kind goofball who enjoyed cracking jokes with everyone.
”He was a good guy, he really was -- for being that young, taking on that responsibility and going overseas to fight for our country,” said Wiegand’s mother-in-law Donna Matias. “Even though he was only here for 20 years, he was still an important person. He did a very important job to fight for our country so we can be free.”
In honor of his life and service to this country, the Great Bend community dedicated a park in his name back in 2007.
Now, both Wiegand’s family and the community are looking for help in raising money to renovate the entire park.
“The total project right now is around $120,000,” said community volunteer Erin Woosman, who is helping with the park renovations. “With our grant we’re close to where we need to be, but we’re still always looking for more donations. It’s important to have a nice park for our community and for everything Lee did for our country.”
The project plan includes resurfacing the basketball court, adding a second basketball hoop, water fountain, sensory garden and an area for small children.
Lee’s wife Jessica Wiegand said the family will host a cornhole tournament at VFW Memorial Park Saturday, July 30 to help raise funds for the renovations.
“I think Lee would just be honored, thankful and appreciative. He’d probably play at the park himself,” said Jessica Wiegand.
Lee’s daughter Jordan Wiegand, who was just four months old at the time of her father’s passing, said she is excited for the future of the park.
“I‘ve played there all my life and I knew that park was in honor of my dad,” said 17-year-old Jordan Wiegand. “Seeing that all that’s being taken down and new stuff is going to be put up soon, it’s just amazing. It feels awesome to know that it’s finally going to look amazing.”
Donations to the park’s restoration fund can be made at Peoples Security Bank under the Great Bend Park Project.