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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wyoming’s Centennial Park Fountain Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The City of Wyoming has a lovely fountain in a beautiful park on Springfield Pike. Many of life’s milestones have been documented in front of this fountain. High school graduates have had photos taken with their parents and newly married couples pose for the photographer in front of the fountain. Even the little ones throw their coins in the fountain. It has become one of our city’s landmarks and is part of the Wyoming heritage. The fountain and Centennial Park have a wonderful story, that you may not know.

Wyoming’s fountain in Centennial Park has been gracing Wyoming’s photos for 20 years. 
In 1962, Miriam Pease and several of her friends founded a local garden club, Trowel and Error. In 1974, they decided to improve an overgrown lot on the corner of Springfield Pike and Linden Drive. This would be a gift to the City of Wyoming to celebrate the city’s 100th Anniversary and would be called Centennial Park. Peggy McNeil drew the plans for the park and planted 100’s of daffodil bulbs, her favorite spring flower. The park, also, includes plaques around the flagpole. These plaques commemorate Wyoming residents who died during World War I. The current park design is Peggy’s plan and Trowel and Error continues to maintain Centennial Park.

Fast forward 25 years, and in 1999 the City of Wyoming is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The city went to all local organizations and asked for their help in celebrating this anniversary. Trowel and Error Garden Club brainstormed and decided to give a gift to the community. A fountain would be the gift! This project would give the club the opportunity to work together and allow them to make a lasting and visible contribution to Wyoming. The planning began in the spring of 1998 and they would need a little over $14,000 for the project! To raise the money, they canvassed the neighborhood and received many generous cash gifts. They placed ‘coffee cans’ in local businesses and labeled them ‘Coins for the Fountain’. This generated a bit more money. Their real money maker was a raffle for two “Dinners by Candlelight” for 12 guests each at two lovely homes in Wyoming. The dinners took place the night of Light Up Wyoming. The guests received printed invitations and the guests were picked up at the Civic Center, one group by horse and buggy and the other group by antique cars. There was a string quartet from Wyoming High School playing in each home and the Wyoming High School choir came and sang carols. Their husbands dressed in tuxedos and served the drinks. They served a gourmet dinner complete with servers in white gloves presenting the dessert in unison under a bottomless gift-wrapped box! Very cool! Photos were taken and later made into photo books for the guests. They did not miss a trick! And by some miracle, they were able to raise the $14,000!
With help from the City of Wyoming, the fountain was installed and dedicated on June 6, 1999. It was a beautiful ceremony complete with a color guard from the Greenhills American Legion and a string quartet from Wyoming High School. Mayor Savage accepted the fountain on behalf of the city, and all raised their glasses as the plaque in front of the fountain was read.

‘May those who gather here take comfort in nature’s beauty and joy in the love of family, friends, and community’

Raising the money for the fountain, planning the events, and landscaping Centennial Park were memory making events. Every member of the club was involved with the project and every member did an exceptional job!

The members of the Trowel and Error Garden Club at the Dedication Ceremony in 1999.
Twenty years have now passed, and Trowel and Error thought it would be appropriate to celebrate this milestone with a Rededication Ceremony of the fountain in Centennial Park. Many of their current members were not members in June of 1999 so this Rededication will pass on to their members, as well as the Wyoming community, the history of the fountain. The Rededication will capture the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the original project as well as educate the community about the role Trowel and Error played in the gift of the fountain. They plan to duplicate the original Dedication Ceremony.

Trowel and Error would love to have the entire community join them on Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their fountain’s Dedication. This date is, also, the day of the Wyoming Art Fair at the Civic Center. These special events need to be remembered and celebrated. Hope to see you all there!

The 1999 party was festive and well-attended – just as the Trowel and Error Garden Club hopes the Rededication Ceremony will be on May 19 at 2:00 p.m.  Join them!

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