Make something out of it

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Sep 26, 2012 - 01:13 PM

Photo: Saturday’s dedication ceremony for Woodville Park concluded with a traditional ribbon cutting. Taking part were, from left, county administrator Brenda Garton, parks, recreation and tourism director Carol Steele, Park Partners’ chairman Chris Clifford, supervisors’ chairman Carter Borden, and Darwin Lanciano, Sherry Hodges and Tracy Lanciano—three of the children of the late Arline Lanciano, who donated the 100-acre parcel in Coke. A fourth child, Scott, was unable to attend. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Saturday’s dedication ceremony for Woodville Park concluded with a traditional ribbon cutting. Taking part were, from left, county administrator Brenda Garton, parks, recreation and tourism director Carol Steele, Park Partners’ chairman Chris Clifford, supervisors’ chairman Carter Borden, and Darwin Lanciano, Sherry Hodges and Tracy Lanciano—three of the children of the late Arline Lanciano, who donated the 100-acre parcel in Coke. A fourth child, Scott, was unable to attend. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Photo: Sherry Hodges displayed pieces of fabric her mother had given her with the instruction to make something out of it. The land for Woodville Park was given to Gloucester County with similar instructions. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Sherry Hodges displayed pieces of fabric her mother had given her with the instruction to make something out of it. The land for Woodville Park was given to Gloucester County with similar instructions. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Sherry L. Hodges laid four pieces of brightly-colored fabric on the podium at Saturday morning’s dedication ceremony for Woodville Park.

They were given to her by her mother, Arline Lanciano, the last of many such pieces of raw material Lanciano had brought back for her daughter over the years from trips abroad. Each time, the gifts were accompanied with a simple instruction: Make something out of it.

Hodges looks at her late mother’s gift of 100 acres to Gloucester County, and the seed money that accompanied it, in much the same fashion.

"Mom gave you this park as raw material to do with as you need and as you want," Hodges told the family members and local dignitaries who gathered at the park on this beautiful morning, with the sounds of young children playing soccer in the distance.

While much has been made of this gift (such as the Baystars soccer fields right near the temporary stage for Saturday’s ceremony), much still remains to be done. "This 100 acres has a ways to go," Hodges said. Only a portion of the initial plan has been constructed, and work by volunteers is being done almost every weekend to clear the rest of the property and convert it into athletic fields and other attractions.