Gift that keeps on giving

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, June 25, 2009

Often people sit back and enjoy “things” without ever giving much thought to the who and why behind them.

Cathrine Jordan, Troy administrative assistant, said there are many people in Troy who give unselfishly of their time, talents and dollars and do so without receiving the recognition they deserve.

“They do what they do because they love Troy and the people here and just want to do something to show how much they care,” Jordan said.

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“Every time we have a Brown Bag lunch or some other event on the square, I think how much the gazebo is used and enjoyed and how much it enhances the beauty of the square. And, not many people know that it was donated by Mrs. Gertrude Stephens. It’s people like her who make Troy such a special place.”

The gazebo was built in 2001 and dedicated to the memory of Gertrude Stephens’ husband, Otis Stephens.

“There’s a plaque at the Gabebo with that information that but I’m not sure that a lot of people know,” Jordan said.

“But I know that we are all very grateful to her for such a wonderful gift.”

Stephens said the gazebo was almost an afterthought.

“I have a gazebo in my backyard and, one afternoon, several of us were enjoying sitting out there ,” Stephens said.

“I said that I thought it would be nice if we had a gazebo on the square where people could go and sit and relax while they were visiting downtown.”

The more Stephens thought about the idea, the more she liked it.

“I went to Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and told him my idea ,” she said.

“I told him that, if I could get permission to have it built, I would pay for it. The mayor said he would be delighted – that it would add to the beauty of the square. So, that’s how it happened.”

The gazebo is used for a variety of special events, including weddings and a place to sit and enjoy being in small town America.

“The gazebo has really helped fix up the downtown and just about every time that I go through town, the gazebo is being used, Stephens said.