Two hundred and fifty down, two hundred more to go. That’s what Batesville Main Street organizers are saying about the memorial brick sale.
"This is our last big drive to get the remainder of the bricks sold," Main Street Manager Colleen Clark said. "We want to make sure that everyone wanting to purchase a brick has the chance to do so."
Main Street Volunteer and Alderwoman Bobby Jean Pounders said there have been more than 250 sold generating over $20,000 in funds to go towards the park’s completion.
"We would like to sell 150 more," she said. "That would give us enough money to fully pay for the project without the city having to put forth any money."
Pounders added that people can still purchase bricks at the $100 price until the end of October. After that time there will be an increase in cost to $150.
"The reason for the increase is the additional work that will be required to get the bricks ready to be put in the ground on time," she said.
Main Street Volunteer Glenda Bailey said she feels like there has been a misconception that the bricks have to be placed in memory of someone.
"People should understand there are a lot of people that have bought bricks to commemorate stores that used to be downtown, to remember past family members or to celebrate the lives of family members that are still with us," she said. "There are several bricks with the names of people’s newborn babies."
Bailey said it should be understood that the bricks are something for people in the future to be able to look at and see the history of Batesville and Panola County.
"We want people to get bricks to show when a certain person was in office or to add a way of remembering one of the businesses that meant a lot to the community," she said. "We have a lot of families that were pioneers of Panola County and we want the future generations to be able to see who they were."
Pounders said the main purpose of the bricks is to celebrate the past, present and even the future of the city and county.
"We want as many people of Panola County as possible to be remembered for the contributions they helped make to this community," she said.
Clark said this will be a memorial park and the bricks will be placed around the fountain.
"We feel like the people of Panola County will have somewhere to go so they can reflect on all of the changes that have happened in Panola County," she said. "That is why it is so important for all of the history to be preserved."
Clark added that the people who have made commitments to purchase bricks but have yet to do so should get their information in as soon as possible.
"We have to have time for the bricks to be sent to Clarksdale where they will be engraved," Clark said.
People purchasing bricks will get three lines with up to 15 characters per line.
"Time is running out and it is time for the people of Panola County to show their support for preserving a part of this county’s past," Bailey added.
Clark said in addition to the large number of bricks sold, they have collected several other contributions.
"Wal-Mart donated $500 to us and the VFW donated $900," she said.
In addition, Alderman Bill Dugger and his wife, Brad Clark and his family and Jerry and Mary Troxler all purchased park benches.
"Jane Williams purchased the Pavilion that will sit in the park when it is completed," Clark said.
Items still remaining for sponsorship include the flagpole at $3,500 and one park bench at $1,200.
"We hope that everyone who wants to come out and help make the park a beautiful site for the past, present and future will come out and do so," Pounder said.
Clark said anyone wishing to purchase a brick can contact City Clerk Judy Savage.
"This is a city project," she said. "Main Street has just been the driving force behind it."