CRISFIELD — The gazebo in the Crisfield Municipal Park was dedicated to a park committee member who wrote grants to gain hundreds of thousands dollars for improvements. Tillie Doyle was also lauded for past community service, to include president of the Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and her many years in real estate.
Former Mayor P.J. Purnell said the city was "pretty well taxed out" with multiple projects going on together with various grant requests. It was then-Councilman and future Mayor Kim Lawson who asked to try for a Department of Natural Resources parks grant, and he was allowed to proceed but it would be on his own.
"Kim started it," Mr. Purnell said, and Tillie, who is Kim’s wife, "finished it." "Not many citizens with a full-time job would just stop with what they were doing and put the effort and hours in."
"She did an excellent job," Mr. Purnell said, because without her, "it wouldn’t have gotten done."
Mr. Lawson said they canceled their vacation in 2008 and wrote what would result in a $194,000 grant award. Ms. Doyle’s application, Mr. Lawson later learned, was the highest rated out of 36 submissions statewide. The next year Ms. Doyle applied again and the park received $157,000.
Pastor Steve Willing, who opened and closed the afternoon ceremony, said stones like this in biblical times served as reminders to future generations of how things came about.
"We’re still doing memorials," he said. "They’re a tribute to those who...had a vision, and went at it to fulfill that vision." "She had a big part in putting all of this together."
The marker is dated July 4 which is Ms. Doyle's birthday but was unveiled on July 3.
A future marker for park committee members is pending. It will recognize Sherry Spanhel, Pat Carson, Sue Heath, LaVerne Johnson, and Noah Bradshaw in addition to Ms. Doyle and Mr. Lawson, chair.