New Inclusive Music Park Created Thanks To Pilot Club, Quitman, Texas

Thanks to the local Pilot Club, Governor Jim Hogg City Park in Quitman, Texas has undergone some inclusive and musical upgrades—and just in time for spring!

In early February 2021, Percussion Play reseller Child’s Play Inc. delivered and installed colorful and playful new musical instruments into a new area of the park that is focused on inclusive play. Wanting equipment that was both attractive and intellectually and physically stimulating, Casey Weiss at Child’s Play Inc. recommended instruments that could be accessed and enjoyed by people of any ability and any age. The instruments selected by the Quitman Pilot Club will help users enhance their motor skills and allow a diverse group of people to be able to socially engage with one another to have fun and make some great music.

Club President, Paige Eaton said, “This project ideally fits within Pilot’s International’s mission, and our own club’s mission, which is to influence positive change in communities throughout the world. To do this, Pilots come together in friendship and service, with a focus on encouraging brain safety and health, and supporting those who care for others.”

Working closely with the city and park advisors, as well as Casey, the club purchased an Alto Quartet Ensemble consisting of; a Duo – offering both aluminium and fibreglass notes for different tones, a towering set of Emperor Chimes (3), Alto Diatonic Freechimes and a complete Congas Trio. Then the club added visual and colorful bouquets of singing major and minor Harmony Flower Posies. To top off the section, the club added a Papilio metallophone. The Papilio’s name is a nod to the elegant shape which resembles a butterfly. Tuned to the key of C-Major, the pentatonic nature of the instrument allows for no wrong notes. And, with an 8 foot span, it can easily be played by 4 music makers.

To be able to purchase this gift, the 40-member non-profit club worked very hard on two fundraisers. They also applied for and received two generous monetary grants. Pilot International contributed $5K and The Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation contributed $10K. About the grant, Quitman Pilot, Sherry Johnson, grant coordinator, and past Pilot International President (2014-2015) said, “This project will add a permanent, enriching and inclusive feature to our park that can be enjoyed by everyone. We could not have accomplished our fundraising goals without the help of Pilot International, and the Wood County Electric Foundation. We are enormously grateful. Both are wonderful organizations that make important and lasting positive impacts.”

About the installation, Rodney Kieke, Quitman City Administrator said, “What a wonderful gift. This addition greatly enhances our park and marks our city as a welcoming and inclusive-play friendly destination.”

The new equipment is ready to play on now, but this spring the club plans to host a public “ribbon cutting” type event to better introduce the instruments and to thank all of the club supporters and patrons.

About Pilot International

Founded in 1921 in Macon, Georgia, Pilot International is a volunteer organization of people from all walks of life working together to give back and improve the quality of life in communities throughout the world. Their principles are elegantly simple: friendship and service. Pilot’s service focus involves promoting awareness of brain-related disorders and helping those affected through volunteer activities, education, and financial support. Pilot works closely with national and international organizations that support this focus, including the Brain Injury Association, American Heart Association, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, Alzheimer’s Association, St. Jude’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Research Center at Duke University, and the National Organization on Disability.

The name Pilot, chosen for its meaning, “leader and guide,” is symbolized by the riverboat wheel emblem, which represents a steady course. Pilot International worldwide has approximately 400 clubs and 13000 adult members called Pilots and 8000 members of the youth organization called Anchor.

Pilot International emphasizes a diversified international membership. Members can be found internationally in countries such as the Bahamas, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.

The Quitman Pilot Club is a good example of how local Pilot clubs operate. It has spearheaded or been instrumental in producing many community events and benefits. The club has also been instrumental in rallying community support and fundraising to make significant improvements to the community, such as the playground at Governor Jim Hogg City Park. It provides education for the prevention of traumatic brain injury and offers services to those suffering from brain-related disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Stroke, and Autism. Bicycle Safety, Project LifeSaver, and Special Olympics are just a few of those efforts.

About Child’s Play Inc.

Child’s Play Inc. is a full-service, award-winning, turn-key park and playground company operating in Northern Texas since 1996. As an industry-leading company with over 20 years in business, Child’s Play Inc. is your one-stop shop when it comes to Park and Playground Equipment.