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Memorial to man instrumental in developing Hempfield soccer moving to different park after township-county tiff

Memorial to man instrumental in developing Hempfield soccer moving to different park after township-county tiff

Larry Leggett’s title for years has marked a soccer industry at Swede Hill Park in Hempfield, a nod to his instrumental purpose in creating the township’s soccer program.

But this year, a memorial rock bearing Leggett’s title was taken out from the park following the township selected not to move forward with a $1 once-a-year lease with Westmoreland County soon after county officials balked at transferring possession of the park to the township at no cost.

The lease formally ended Feb. 28 just after 25 a long time of Hempfield utilizing the park.

“It was sentimental to us and it was a stunning park,” Leggett’s wife, Heather Leggett Neal, explained of Swede Hill Park.

The township is now arranging to move Leggett’s memorial to Hempfield Park.

A rededication ceremony is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. April 30.

Leggett, who died in 2001 right after battling colon cancer, served as superintendent of athletics for the township’s parks and recreation section soon after being employed in 1980. In that role, Leggett devoted his time to increasing Hempfield’s leisure sporting activities.

He also performed a vital purpose in establishing the Hempfield Recreation Soccer League.

Neal and her husband coached a number of Hempfield groups, and at occasions would help out coaching groups affiliated with the Greensburg recreation office.

She observed that his most significant enthusiasm was coordinating the township’s TOPS Soccer System for small children with distinctive requires mainly because “those young ones were just so loving and caring.”

“He just usually required to benefit the youngsters,” Neal explained. “Everything was normally about the children. He just enjoyed observing the kids out taking part in.”

Leggett died Dec. 9, 2001. He was 48.

A few yrs later on, Hempfield developed a regulation-dimension soccer industry at Swede Hill Park, which was dedicated to Leggett on Aug. 31, 2004.

Around the decades, Swede Hill Park was used by the Leggett family for sports and graduation parties.

Leggett’s 4 kids all participated in athletics, including their father’s most loved, soccer. Increasing up in Youngwood, the small children would frequently play soccer online games at Swede Hill Park. Just lately, Leggett’s granddaughter played soccer at the park and excitedly showed her teammates his memorial. In accordance to Neal, she explained, “This is my grandfather’s subject.”

Prior to Leggett’s dying, he took consolation in recognizing the subject at Swede Hill Park would be offered for generations to appear.

“I just desire the county would have cooperated with the township, simply because the township was normally the types that taken care of it,” Neal said when expressing disappointment in how her loved ones was informed about alterations to the memorial and the reduction of a park in the township.

For the duration of the size of the lease, Hempfield officers covered the price tag of working day-to-working day maintenance of Swede Hill Park and paid for enhancements to its fields and playground.

Because of the township’s expenditure in the park, George Reese, chairman of the Hempfield supervisors, claimed very last month that he did not “think it was an unreasonable ask” to transfer the assets to the township for free.

County officers at the time, even so, stated the township did not want to pay back industry value for the house.

The county instead offered Hempfield the choice to continue on spending $1 per year for the park.

County officers now system to keep the space as a park.

Even with the condition, Neal noted that she feels greater the township is positioning the memorial at Hempfield Park, where she and Leggett have been married.

“I feel greater that they are placing it and they’re rededicating it to that discipline, but however I do not want to experience they’re just carrying out that for the reason that we were upset,” Neal reported. “I want them to be performing it for him and his determination.”

Reese said it was generally the prepare to rededicate Leggett’s memorial at Hempfield Park if things did not operate out at Swede Hill.

“We’re heading to honor his memory once again at our park out in Hempfield,” Reese stated. “It’s something that was constantly on our head when we were chatting about and hoping to get the job done with the county on coming to terms on the Swede Hill sophisticated, that if it did not function out, we have been constantly likely to do some thing for Larry out at the park.”

The rededication ceremonywill be held at the newly rehabilitated soccer fields at Hempfield Park, claimed Aaron Siko, director of parks and recreation.

The occasion, which is open to the general public, will be held in the course of consistently scheduled online games for the Hempfield Recreation Soccer League.

“It was like sentimental issue,” Neal stated. “I’m happy they did not overlook about him.”

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Overview staff members writer. You can make contact with Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or by using Twitter .