STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Before his death, Randy Longoria dedicated 14 years to the city of Burnet, and those who knew him best wanted to ensure he would be remembered in a fitting way.
On Oct. 31, Live Oak Park in Burnet was rededicated as Randy Longoria Park in memory of the former city parks supervisor, who died in August.
Burnet Mayor Crista Goble Bromley said the park name was a small way the city could show its support for Longoria after all he did.
“He took initiative and didn’t quit until the work was done. He went above and beyond in everything he did,” Bromley said at the dedication ceremony. “Renaming the park is a small contribution, and in no way does it stand against what Randy did for our citizens and our city.”
The park has undergone major renovations to include a covered pavilion, a resurfaced basketball court with lighting, shade for the playscape, and new fencing and a retaining wall.
The Rotary Club of Burnet and the Lower Colorado River Authority each gave $25,000 toward park renovations. Members of both organizations spoke about Longoria and the park.
Tres Clinton, a Burnet City Council and Rotary Club of Burnet member, said the park project is something that would benefit the entire community. Clinton cited the Rotary’s “Service Above Self” motto in explaining why the park was named after Longoria.
“I’m so happy it’s not the Rotary Park of Burnet but the Randy Longoria Park. He represents what we represent, but his name will live on for these kids,” Clinton said. “I wish Randy was here today to see this. I’m so happy his name will live through this park as long as we can keep this park going.”
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson echoed that sentiment and talked about a park’s impact on its community.
“We take for granted when kids ride their bikes to places like this and go walking to a park like this what a community park can do,” Wilson said. “It’s because people before us made decisions on places like this. So, in a sense, we’re paying it forward.”
After such praise for Longoria, his sister Mary Longoria addressed the crowd and thanked everyone for their support of the family.
“I hope everyone enjoys this park. It’s the best thing anyone could ever do for him because he enjoyed kids,” she said. “He was a big kid himself. Thank y’all so much.”
Along with the park dedication, the formation of the Randy Longoria Scholarship Fund also was announced.
Family friends Danisa and Andrew Scott said the fund is in the preliminary stages after a recent fundraiser and the sale of specially made “Tough As A Boot BBQ” caps.
“We have over $2,200 raised. We’re looking to do one big event per year, a barbecue cook-off in his name,” Danisa Scott said.
Their hope is that the scholarship, set up through the Hill Country Community Foundation, can benefit an agriculture or culinary arts student.