For their second date, Todd and Emily went for a walk in The Parklands. They set out on what would become a 7-mile trek, stopping about halfway through at the Gravel Bar Overlook off of the Sycamore Trail. They sat on a bench and looked out at Floyds Fork, enjoying talking with one another. If you ask Emily, she thinks this is the first time and place that Todd wanted to kiss her. For that reason, The Parklands quickly became a special place to them.
Fast forward almost 2 years and Todd is ready to pop the question. He thought of several different ways to ask her, thinking through a variety of detailed plans. After much thought, Todd decided that The Parklands was the perfect spot. He invited Emily on another walk in The Parklands, mirroring the part of the route of their second date. As they approached the bench where they had previously rested, Emily realized where they were. She said, “I know where we are.” She hugged Todd. As they embraced, Emily noticed a plaque on the bench with a special message, just for her.
Emily said “yes” and the couple is thrilled to have their “Marry Me Bench” in The Parklands. They look forward to sharing this special place with their 10 children and countless future generations. They also hope that their idea will inspire other couples to make their special moment a way to give back. The funds from the bench plaque donation go right back to supporting The Parklands, making it a special place for everyone, day in and day out.
Thank you Todd and Emily for making us a part of your love story! Happy Valentine’s Day.
Ellen Doolittle Oost
Ellen has been the Director of Development at 21st Century Parks since April of 2015. In this role she oversees fundraising functions for The Parklands, including the annual fund/membership campaign, corporate sponsorships, supporting the Board of Directors, leading major fundraising events, and seeking grant and foundational support. It’s her goal to create multiple compelling opportunities for donors to support The Parklands, a donor-supported public park that does not receive tax dollar support on an annual basis but has four world-class parks free and open to the public 365 days a year. Although fairly new to this role, Ellen is intimately familiar with The Parklands as she spent the previous 3 years as the Communications Manager in charge of public relations, social media, community outreach and marketing for the parks. Before joining 21st Century Parks she spent three years with Louisville-based advertising agency Doe-Anderson. Her background also includes marketing and account service roles at Anheuser-Busch InBev, PriceWeber advertising agency, and direct mail marketing at Traffic Builders, Inc. Ellen is a graduate of Marietta College where she studied advertising, public relations and marketing and played volleyball. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling with her two mutts and her husband Andrew.
Being a donor-supported public park means we rely on donations, not tax dollars, for annual operations each year. Because of your generosity, we are able to maintain, program, and further develop this extraordinary public space without charging an entry fee. Together we work to enhance quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable for people of all ages. Help us reach our goal of sustaining The Parklands by becoming a Member today. Members make it happen!
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