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Countdown of Top 5 Stories of 2023: Number 1

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The Number 1 story of the year is the completion of a new amenity at Vanderbilt Town Park that will be enjoyed by generations of Greenville residents, and received the highest number of online views and comments in 2023. File photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Greenville Pioneer is counting down the top 5 local stories of 2023. We looked at the top stories of the year, those that drew the highest number of readers to our website and Facebook page, or that had the greatest impact on our community and its residents. Here is the Number 1 story for the year. File photo

Pavilion: ‘A beautiful testament to love, resilience and community spirit’

GREENVILLE — The Ingalls family unveiled the new pavilion at Vanderbilt Town Park, built in honor of family members who came before them.

The family, which has owned GNH Lumber for generations, dedicated the Ingalls Family Pavilion on Sept. 13 with a catered event and area residents packing the pavilion.

The structure is 40’ by 80’ and includes a bathroom that remains to be completed.

The pavilion was built in memory of late family members Stanley L. Ingalls, Randall S. “Buddy” Ingalls, Walter H. Ingalls and Stanley R. Ingalls, according to John Ingalls.

“This building is dedicated in their memory,” John Ingalls said. “It’s the Ingalls Family Pavilion, but it’s these men who gave lots of service to the community but never took credit for it, so we wanted to give them credit for what they have done.”

The concept for the pavilion came about following a death in the family during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to shutdowns, it was challenging to hold a funeral, John Ingalls said.

“My father passed away recently and when he passed, it was during COVID,” Ingalls said. “My father was a very religious man and we couldn’t have his funeral in the church, so we had to find a space where we could have a proper funeral during COVID.”

The family looked around and came upon a pavilion in the Westerlo Town Park that would be an appropriate space for their needs.

“We talked afterwards and we decided that we should have something like this in Greenville,” Ingalls said. “The family put our heads together and we made it happen through not just our efforts individually as the Ingalls family or with the help of GNH Lumber, but with the help of the contractor community in this area.”

Several contractors donated their services in the effort.

The project broke ground in the spring of 2022 and the foundation and bulk of the structure was finished by the end of the year. Then things were held up by some snags, and work was just finished recently. The bathroom structure is built, but putting in utilities and finishing up will take some more time.

“Hopefully, the bathrooms will be done by the end of this year,” Ingalls said, though the timing remains uncertain.

The pavilion was built on town property, but no town funds were used. The family covered the cost of the project, with contractors donating their labor. Ingalls declined to reveal the cost of the project.

Prospective Eagle Scout Nathanial Porter, from Boy Scout Troop 42, took on the task of building the pavilion’s 12 picnic tables for his Eagle project.

“I heard there was an opportunity to build picnic tables for the pavilion and it sounded like a good Eagle project,” Porter said.

It took two days’ worth of labor from dozens of volunteers to construct the picnic tables, with 24 volunteers helping on the first day and 16 the following day, Porter said.

“It feels great to know that I did something that helps lots of people,” Porter said.

Scoutmaster Colin Tumey said the project was a good one for Porter to complete to meet his community service project requirement to make Eagle Scout.

“I was approached by one of the Ingalls family and they said we might have a project for one of your scouts, so I passed it along to Nathanial because he was ready to do a project,” Tumey said. “He connected back and forth with John Ingalls to work out the details of the project. The Ingalls family was awesome.”

Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, attended the dedication ceremony and called the pavilion “a beautiful testament to love, resilience and community spirit.”

“The story behind this pavilion is not just one of bricks and mortar, it is a tale of profound devotion and the enduring power of human kindness,” Tague said.

He handed each of the Ingalls family members a proclamation from the New York State Assembly.

“This pavilion is more than just a new venue — it is a place where people can gather, find solace, celebrate life’s joys and draw strength during difficult times,” Tague said. “It is a testament to the resilience that defines our community, a reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can come together to create something beautiful and lasting.”

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