King County’s Lakewood Park will be renamed Dick Thurnau Memorial Park thanks to the King County Council vote on October 12, 2015.
TAF has truly been a part of something special! Dick Thurnau: Father, Grandfather, War Veteran, and Visionary Community Activist for the White Center area was truly our hero. The friendship between TAF and Dick Thurnau began well over a decade ago.
TAF was in its planning phases of a Capital Campaign and was approached by King County Parks to host STEM out of school programming for students. Unfortunately, at the time the White Center facility was not conducive to what was needed to offer STEM programs. Later, King County Parks followed up with TAF about building a new TAF facility in Lakewood Park. With the support of the King County Parks, Dick Thurnau and the White Center community, King County Council voted yes for TAF’s new home to be built in Lakewood Park.
Prior to the council’s vote, The Friends of Hick Lake was hosting a meeting at the White Center library and I was scheduled to speak on behalf of TAF. Who knew such a friendship would evolve between TAF and Dick Thurnau. Dick was present and spoke when King County Council voted for TAF to have its new home in Lakewood Park. Trish, TAF’s Executive Director and Founder said it best, “Dick was going to build this building one check at a time”. Dick not only helped fund TAF’s Capital Campaign, he was instrumental in gaining TAF supporters.
Dick spent tireless hours advocating on behalf of keeping Lakewood Park and Hicklin Lake clean. His vision for the park is for families and the community at large to be able to enjoy a clean and safe environment at Lakewood Park. Dick hosted annual barbecues in Lakewood Park for families in the community, organized cleaning days, and educated the community and King County about the needs of the park. Dick worked with the students of Cascade Middle School to keep Lakewood Park clean and taught students to take pride in the park. Dick spent over 40 years in the White Center community and dedicated his passion, time and commitment to making the Lakewood Park a better place for everyone. After Dick’s passing, TAF along with several other agencies and community members decided that action was needed to honor Dick’s legacy.
TAF is happy to officially announce the renaming of Lakewood Park to the Dick Thurnau Memorial Park.
Article Written By: Sherry Williams, Deputy Director