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Vote Thompson Park!

June 28, 2013
By JIM MACKEY - Managing Editor ( , The Review

It's a safe bet I'll never tell you to vote for a certain political candidate. It's just not my thing. I'm also not going to try and sway you into passing any levy. Again, it's not what I do.

After all, your business is not my business. At least not when it comes to "Candidate A" or "Issue 99."

But if I may, let me encourage you to vote for something - Thompson Park.

If you live in the greater metropolis of East Liverpool (funny, I know), then there's a pretty good chance you've been to Thompson Park - the city's "hidden jewel," as some have called it.

What you may not know is the Park is in a competition, of sorts, for a grant - money that is awarded and need not be paid back. Also known as free money. We all like free money, I assume.

Under the leadership of new Superintendent J.C. Blackhurst, Thompson Park is attempting to attain a recreation grant as part of Coca-Cola's "Take it to the Park" program.

Fact Box


You can click to vote once a day


Get 5 votes for your favorite park per day by checking in at your park with Foursquare.


Get 10 votes per day by logging 20 minutes of activity with MapMyFitness.

Double points available via all three sources on July 4-5 and July 13-14

Tell your friends and Twitter followers

The contest via the soft drink company is geared toward getting people out to local parks and getting them active, but it also serves as a way for local parks, nationwide, to compete for cash.

Participants are encouraged to vote for their favorite park through July 15, and at the conclusion of the contest, Coca-Cola names the top vote-getter as "America's Favorite Park" and awards $190,000 to four parks - $100,000 for first, $50,000 for second, $25,000 for third, and $15,000 for a random park that finishes anywhere from fourth through 25th.

Currently Thompson Park is in the third position with more than 54,000 votes as of Thursday afternoon. Parks in Oklahoma (first) and Virginia (second) were both hovering around 63,000 votes. A park in New York was fourth with 32,000 votes.

It appears Thompson Park is in good position to earn some of that free money, but we all need to do our part to continue to push those totals skyward.

It doesn't matter if you still live in East Liverpool or not, get behind the effort and let's make this happen. Visit and learn what you need to do to start voting. If you already have been voting, continue to stuff that virtual ballot box.

Thompson Park holds memories for all of us, I'm sure.

I played youth soccer at Thompson Park for Lynn Ambulance, way back in the day. We were good. Brody Brent Broderick, now a professional bass angler with the Bassmaster Elite Series, was a team member.

Later, in high school, as a member of the ELHS cross country program, we used Thompson Park as our home course - using the trails and the hilly terrain to our advantage. We were good. Lee Duffield, the best.

I played pickup football in the grassy area of the upper loop with the fellas. Kicked the ball in frustration.

Played basketball at two courts - one by the tennis courts and the other near the superintendent's residence - that no longer exist. Kicked the ball in frustration.

Play softball at the field below the swimming pool. Threw a ball in frustration.

Played tennis on all three courts. Nothing but frustration.

I've never played disc golf. Appears frustrating.

I've attended numerous picnics, birthday parties and other celebrations at the park's various pavilions.

I started a running regimen there. I stopped. I started another one. Stopped again.

I've walked with my kids around the upper loop, rode bikes with them, and even hopped aboard a horse-drawn buggy with my daughter.

Enjoyed the playground once or twice. Listened to live music performed at the amphitheater. And climbed the big rock on occasion.

Even held a celebration at the swimming pool for some of the youth soccer teams I was lucky enough to coach.

My son, then age 5, and I once got kicked off the main grass for playing Wiffle ball. Guess we were going to ruin the grass? Times have changed, though.

And once I ventured through the park, after hours, only to be scared quickly away by what I thought was wildlife. Rustling leaves sound a bit different at night.

(Sidenote: Kids, do not venture through the park, after hours. This has been a public service announcement.)

In one sentence: Thompson Park is a great place to visit.

Vote people! Let's push our "hidden jewel" to the top of the list.

(Jim Mackey is managing editor of The Review. Reach him at



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