Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management, Patrick J. Sullivan, and Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan's family presented a proclamation today to recognize and thank the Skinner Family of Ellington, CT. The Skinners generously donated materials and labor valued at $17,500 towards the construction of a new pavilion for the park being developed in GySgt Thomas Sullivan's honor. Everett Skinner III, Chris Skinner and Everett Skinner IV own and operate the Barn Yard & Great Country Garages based in Ellington.
Springfield native GySgt Sullivan gave his life while defending his country in 2015. The new Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan Park is located on South Branch Parkway and has been under construction for the past year. The $695,000 project is funded by a Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
This project is part of Mayor Sarno’s commitment to rebuild Springfield and generate improvements in areas affected by the 2011 tornado. The city, in conjunction with the East Forest Park Civic Association and area residents, developed a master plan for this park. Improvements include planting trees, creating an accessible path to the water’s edge for kayaking, a new pavilion, ADA walking paths, and benches, picnic tables, landscaping, and grading the sloped terrain.
Mayor Domenic Sarno stated, "The Skinner Family has embraced the City of Springfield and their generosity spurred over $45,000 in donations from our business community to construct the pavilion for Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan Park. It is this philanthropy that instills a sense of pride in our city and gives well-deserved recognition to all veterans who have sacrificed greatly for the freedoms we enjoy in our country. It is heartwarming that the Skinner family saw the article about this project and called Director Sullivan and asked how they could assist us. Thank you to the Skinner family as your donation will bring great enjoyment to park patrons for many years."
Patrick Sullivan said, “This donation will complete the master plan for this park. I'm grateful to the Skinner family, as they have ensured the plan developed by the residents of East Forest Park will be fulfilled. I am grateful to Betty, Jerry, and Joe Sullivan and Diane Sullivan Caron, as they have been an integral part of this park’s design and they envisioned that this pavilion would provide a relaxing venue to quietly reflect on the beauty and tranquility of this open space. Thank you to the Skinner family, as you will bring great happiness to many by your generosity.”
Joseph Sullivan stated, "On behalf of our family, we are appreciative of Mayor Sarno’s tireless efforts in making this park a reality. My family has great memories of East Forest Park and to have this tribute for my brother is an honor we all cherish. We are also grateful to the Skinner family and all of the other donors who have contributed to ensure this park will have a picturesque pavilion.”
Chris Skinner said, “My father, brother and I are honored to be part of this project. Our company, including our entire staff, wanted to show our respect for GySgt Thomas Sullivan and his family. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and the Skinner family and Barn Yard employees wanted to work in partnership with the City of Springfield in honoring GySgt Sullivan for his service."
The pavilion in this park has been made possible by the following donors:
- The Barn Yard and Great Country Garages/The Skinner Family
- Northern Tree Service; the Cambo Family
- Charlie Arment Trucking; the Arment Family
- Gleason-Johndrow Landscaping
- Mountain View Landscaping; the Corrigan Family
- Davis Foundation
- Sheraton Springfield Hotel; the Picknelly Family
- Ventry Associates; the Murphy Family
- GZA Geo-Environmental