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Special needs kids, some in wheelchairs, some developmentally disabled, some profoundly handicapped, wore wide grins as they raced around the base paths at Field 8 and Field 9 at Jackson Park.
No one grinned wider than Chat Jones, the car dealer and civic activist who saw a need and met it. Jones died Oct. 12 in the garage of his used car lot, Jones Auto Sales, at age 63.
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners was scheduled on Wednesday to dedicate fields 8 and 9 to Jones, who started the Special Needs Baseball League with his brother, Donnie.
Now when someone throws out the first pitch, the kids will be playing on the "Chat Jones Memorial Fields."
The resolution reads:
Whereas, Henderson County and its community members sadly note the passing of Chester Allen "Chat Jones, a beloved father, grandfather and brother, as well as a distinguished leader; and
Whereas, Chat Jones leaves behind a legacy of community service and philanthropic deeds; and,
Whereas, Among his many legacies Chat helped to found the Henderson County Education Foundation; and
Whereas, Chat was a loyal member of the Henderson County Kiwanis Club, where he served as president of the organization in 1987 and in January 2012 would have celebrated 40 years of perfect attendance; and
Whereas, Chat truly cared for the individuals in our community and founded a number of services in order to help the less fortunate. A few of these services include donating diapers and car seats to teen mothers at Balfour Education Center, donating car seats to new mothers at Park Ridge and Pardee hospitals, donating cars to those who couldn't afford one otherwise, and pioneering a program to purchase and hang swings for handicapped and wheelchair bound children at Henderson County parks; and
Whereas, Chat absorbed himself in the rich history of Henderson County and several weeks prior to passing founded 'Main Street, Then and Now,' a program to simulate a walk down Main Street through pictures of storefronts from the past and today, with friend Tom Orr,
Whereas, Chat will be greatly missed by his family and community.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners that we commend Chester Allen "Chat" Jones, in memoriam, for his selfless service to the community and we proclaim his legacy will live on Henderson County.
Furthermore, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners will dedicate Fields 8 and 9 at Jackson Park as the 'Chat Jones Memorial Fields.'
Adopted this the 21st day of November.