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Ribbon cutting set for Longview's largest splash pad


POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 6:14pm

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the largest splash pad in East Texas will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 29. The Jack Mann Splash Pad at Lear Park, 100 H.G. Mosley Pkwy., is a 10,000 square foot splash pad with three themed play areas. The ribbon cutting will celebrate Phase One of the overall project; however, the splash pad will not be open to the public immediately. With construction of the project ongoing, the splash pad is expected to open within two weeks.

Phase One includes the splash pad infrastructure, eighty-seven water spouts, a parking lot, two pavilions, and a sports-themed Dr. Pepper play area. Ongoing construction in the park will include the restrooms, fencing, landscaping, and the additional water features.

The splash pad is named in memory of Mr. Jack M. Mann, a Longview resident that had a long history of supporting numerous events, programs, and organizations throughout Longview. Jack M. Mann served as president of the Made-Rite Company since 1971. The company has been distributing Dr. Pepper in the East Texas area since 1925. The Mann family and the Dr. Pepper / Snapple Corporation kicked off the fundraising campaign with a generous gift towards the project.

The City of Longview and LEDCO contributed funds for the infrastructure of the splash pad. Donations from the community allow for additional features and amenities. Major contributions have been made by Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Made-Rite, and the Junior League of Longview. In-kind donations have also been provided. For instance, the East Texas Builders Association is assisting with construction of pavilions. Fundraising for the ongoing project continues, and all donations are greatly appreciated. Donor recognition is available through leveled giving and/or sponsorship of park assets. Donations may be made to the PALS Foundation, PO Box 2761, Longview, Texas, 75603.

According to Les Rickett, fundraising campaign chairman, “We are working with several businesses and school groups on phase two, and I am optimistic as I believe the fund raising will be stimulated when people see what we have accomplished. I do want to thank all that have helped and encourage those that would like to help either as a volunteer or contribution to contact us.”

Rhonda Bullard, who is a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and assisting with fundraising efforts, stated “Longview is so fortunate to have great parks and sports facilities for families and visitors to enjoy. The addition of the Jack M. Mann Splash Pad will bring a new dimension to our recreational experiences. It has been a joy to work on developing something my grandchildren will enjoy for many years. The facility provides an opportunity for children to interact with others in a healthy, active environment. What a gift to our great city!”

On behalf of the Junior League of Longview, Kristen Ishihara commented that “The Junior League of Longview is proud to be a part of the Jack Mann Splash Pad project because of the great impact this park with have on the youth of our community and the encouragement it will provide to our youth to get active and outdoors. We look forward to bringing our children and grandchildren!”

For more information about the Jack Mann Splash Pad, visit,, or call Dietrich Johnson at 903-237-1089

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