On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, a crowd gathered below the Sigmon Children’s Building at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center to dedicated the new Hewitt/Baggs Playground.
Five years ago, Mrs. Frances Hewitt passed away and left a generous estate gift for a new playground at Eagle Eyrie. Her son, Roy and his wife, Linda, traveled down from Ohio to be there. Her grandson, Kevin, came from Baltimore to be at the dedication.
Mrs. Hewitt was a school teacher for 36 years and an active member of Talbot Park Baptist Church in Norfolk for more than 40 years, teaching Sunday School for much of that time.
She spent many weeks of her summer months at Eagle Eyrie, working with the preschoolers and children who attended the various camps there.
Even with Mrs. Hewitt’s donation, additional funding was still needed for the playground. Leigh Anne Winston, an employee in the business office at the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, married David Baggs. Together they heard that the playground needed more money and were inclined to make a significant donation.
Others donated as well, including the Winsome Sunday School class of Bedford Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church (Altavista), Anita McEntire, First Baptist Church, South Boston, and the Botetourt County Lodge Owner Association. They are all recognized on a marker at the playground.
During the ceremony, Rod recognized Eddie Stratton, former Treasurer for Virginia Baptists, for working hard to help raise the funds for the playground. David Washburn, current Treasurer, offered the dedicatory prayer.
Children were invited to use toy shovels to help mark the occasion.
Rod Miller, Eagle Eyrie Director, said that the playground “will offer a wonderful recreation option for our younger guests.”
The new playground features a double slide, spiral step climber, a fish bridge, and is surrounded by rubber mulch.