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McKenzie was the recent winner of a grant for a dog park from the Randy Boyd Foundation. Fresh off of a run for the Republican nomination for Governor, Randy Boyd and his wife, Jenny, were in town Wednesday, August 8 to present a check for $25,000 to Mayor Jill Holland and the City of McKenzie to construct a dog park adjacent to City Park on Como Road.
Mayor Holland introduced several local officials present including Councilman Jason Martin, McKenzie Fire Chief Brian Tucker, Carroll County Mayor-elect Joseph Butler, Carroll County Commissioner Joel Washburn, and Jennifer Waldrup. In her opening remarks, Holland told the gathering, a group of citizens came forward with the idea for such a park. She acknowledged this was not something that was high on the priority list due to McKenzie and other towns having to tighten their financial belts and likely would not have happened without this grant.
After being introduced, Randy Boyd told the crowd, the idea for the dog park and other dog parks across the state came from an insult. He was attending an event out of state where Tennessee was mentioned as one of the lowest ranking states in how pets were treated. He came home and did his due diligence and found the information was true and helped begin initiatives in his hometown of Knoxville. His goal is to help make Tennessee the most dog friendliest state in the country.
Dog Park Dash is the program which McKenzie won the grant for the park. Dog Park Dash is an initiative of the Randy Boyd Foundation that is giving $1 million per year for three years broken down into one grand prize grant of $100,000 and 26 grants of $25,000 each per year. Jackson was this year’s $100K winner. McKenzie competed against 50 other cities across the state who applied for these grants. Mayor Holland noted that recent Bethel graduate and current intern Bridget Neisler was responsible for writing the winning grant.
Following the presentation there were treats for humans and pooches alike along with t-shirts. Construction will begin soon and a grand opening for the park will be scheduled and announced at a later time.