Boys realize dream of expanded Sparta Skate Park

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Area radio station to be on hand for dedication ceremony Saturday

By John Whitlock

After several fund-raising events and countless hours of planning and hard work, two Owen County students will see their dedication pay off this week.
Colton Matt and Logan Bailey have been working since September 2010 to see the Sparta Skate Park expanded and updated. The pair approached the Sparta City Council and secured a pledge to match $10,000 if the boys could raise $10,000 on their own.
Through festivals, direct donations and a ‘Penny War’ between Owen and Gallatin counties, the boys raised about $8,000 over time, $2,000 short of the goal.
Impressed with the dedication and initiative of Matt and Bailey, the Sparta City Council agreed to cover the costs of the expansion.
Saturday at 1 p.m., local officials, friends, family, fellow skaters and Froggy 104.9 will be on hand to see and celebrate what two young men can accomplish with hard work.
“It’s really exciting,” Matt said. “We’ve waited a long time for this.”
Matt said he is grateful to the city.
“They decided to go ahead and put up the rest of the money before we got too old to enjoy it,” Matt said.
Bailey said the experience has taught him valuable lessons.
“We learned about dedication and not giving up,” Bailey said.
The efforts of the boys have not gone unnoticed by other people in the community.
Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith volunteered to attend and grill free hot dogs for the community during the ceremony.
But no one is more likely impressed with the boy’s work than Colton Matt’s mother Darlene.
“I’m so proud of them,” she said. “The Penny War helped bring the two counties together and that was a big accomplishment. They have just worked so hard. It’s amazing.”
The event will begin at noon at the Sparta Skate Park and end at 2 p.m.