breaks ground on new walking track
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[June 21, 2016]
On Thursday morning a crowd
gathered in the community room at the Oasis Senior Center, there to
witness the groundbreaking on the new walking track located behind
the Senior Center building. At the invitation of Oasis Director Dom
Dalpoas, all went outside for a brief period.
Manning shovels were Dave Campbell, Bob Parrish, and Tonita
Reifsteck. The three were joined by Mayor Marty Neitzel and
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs representing the city of Lincoln, and the
board members present from the Oasis. Among those was Rick Hoefle,
who is also an alderman for the city of Lincoln.
After posing for several photos, the group returned to the comfort
of the Community Room for a short program.
Dalpoas began by speaking about the goal of the Oasis to provide for
the needs of the senior community.
He said that the track was coming together, with construction to
begin on Monday, June 20th and hopefully be done before the first
part of July. It was noted that there had been weather delays in
getting the project started, and that the Oasis had first hoped to
start the track in April.
Dalpoas went on to introduce and explain who the people were that
had manned the shovels. He said Bob Parrish was there as the
President of the Oasis Board. Dave Campbell was there representing
the Elks Charitable Trust.
He went on to say that the late T.J. Cosgrove was very dedicated to
helping the Oasis rebuild and as a representative of the Elks had
helped guide the Elks to supporting the automated doors. Cosgrove
had asked what more the Elks could do, and at that time the track
was just an idea, but even then, Cosgrove committed the Elks would
help with that project. After T.J. had passed away, Campbell
continued with the cause and made sure the Elks did give its
financial support to the project.
Dalpoas moved into talking about the day the Oasis lost its downtown
building to fire. He recalled standing beside then board President
Wally Reifsteck watching smoke billow from the building. He noted
that at first, he thought it was only smoke, the building could and
would be saved. But then he remembered the moment when flames lept
through the roof of the building, and his immediate knowledge that
this was a fire that would do devastating damage.
Dalpoas said as he stood beside Reifsteck he commented to Wally that
this was a telling moment. They could go home and say okay it is all
over, or they could do something better than has been done. Wally
turned to him and simply said, “We’ll make it better.” The decision
was made at that moment the Oasis would raise from the ashes and
would be better than it had ever been.
[to top of second
Dalpoas said Wally had been a great leader and then and since his
death last year, his wife Tonita, and his family have continued
working to “make it better.”
The microphone was then handed off to Tonita Reifsteck. She
commented that in 1986 Wally had six by-passes. He was told that the
work would last ten years and that he needed to exercise. Reifsteck
said her husband walked daily and exercised, and because of this his
by-passes lasted more than 25 years. She said the track was a vision
of Wally, and the family decided that they would support the track
construction as a memorial to Wallace Reifsteck.
Campbell spoke for the Elks and said the organization was proud to
assist with the construction of the track. He said the Elks were
very supportive of the Senior Center and would continue to be, so if
there were future needs, the Oasis should let them know, and they
will do what they can to help.
Bob Parrish was the last to speak, welcoming everyone who was on
hand for joining in the celebration. He noted again the postponing
of the construction to this point. He also said this was to be a big
addition for the people of the Oasis as well as anyone else who
wished to use it.
The guests were encouraged to stay and visit and enjoy donuts
donated by Mellow Cream.