Ribbon cutting held for Dickas pavilion in Tawawa Park

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SIDNEY — A ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently completed Dickas Pavilion was held Friday afternoon in Tawawa Park. Dr. Albert Dickas provided most of the funding for the project and named the structure to honor his parents, who he credited for helping him have a “life of vibrant color.”

“Together, my mother and father formulated a successful marriage of 41 years and created a household of prosperity, propriety, devotion, and accountability,” Dickas said. “To my chagrin, I never said thank you. Today, I have that opportunity. Thank you, Mom and Dad.”

Dickas says it’s important to remember your roots, and he has been leading by example for Sidney. He showed this two years ago, after sponsoring the construction of a pavilion in memory of his great grandfather. Located in the Aschenbach Grove of Tawawa Park, the Binkley Pavilion stands as a testament of the impact that Binkley made through his time as the editor of The Sidney Journal in the 1800’s.

After that project wrapped, Dickas reflected on the legacy he left for his great grandfather and realized that he wanted to also recognize his parents in a similar manner. Thus, the Dickas Pavilion project was set in motion.

With the help of Parks Director Duane Gaier, the Community Foundation of Shelby County and the Recreation Board of Sidney, Dickas was able to once again provide for the community in the name of the people who had provided for him.

With an opening by Gaier, he then introduced the speakers who came to celebrate this ribbon cutting: recreation board chair Oshae Peart, mayor Mike Barhorst, and Community Foundation executive director Marian Spicer. All were vocal in their appreciation of Dickas and the contributions he’s made to the community, they all offered their congratulations and their gratitude for being a part of this project.

“The Community Foundation deals with a lot of lasting money, but when it can become something that the community gets to see and use and benefit from day in, day out, year in, year out, it makes us feel that not only is today’s gift important, but what today’s gift does for the future of our community.” Spicer said.

The Community Foundation granted $15,000 to help with paving the parking lot, providing a sign for the pavilion and picnic tables within it.

Gaier reflected in his introduction of Dickas on his awarded title of Historian of the Year in 2022 for the research and articles he curated and published about Shelby County over the previous ten years.

When the floor was turned to Dickas to give some words, he reminisced about his childhood and his fondness for what is now Tawawa Park, but for him was a great expanse of woods.

“I could get from my kitchen to Tawawa Park in 12 minutes. I knew my way through the woods to get there.” Dickas said.

“My affiliation goes back 89 years to this area.”

He spoke about his parents, Lionel and Helen (Binkley) Dickas, and their impact on his life.

“I look back at how lucky I have been growing up to maturity in this woodland treasure guided by parents, both unusual and exceptional,” Dickas said.

“… Without their responsible parenting, my life would have been lived in shades of black and white. As a result of their responsible parenting, I have experienced a life of vibrant color. Indeed, technicolor.”

The ribbon cutting was attended by Dickas’ children and grandchildren, who got to stand behind him as he cut the ribbon, unveiling the new pavilion for the community to now share in and enjoy.

Reach Sidney Daily News reporter Anna Edmiston at 937-538-4825.

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