Huntington Woods Neighbors Honor Rachel Jacobs with Gazebo Dedication (video)

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDHuntington Woods SaharaNEW02Neighbors Honor Rachel Jacobs with Gazebo Dedication (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 17, 2016)

Huntington Woods, MI – A little boy playing in a brand new gazebo in a park in Huntington Woods can peek between the slats, run carefree up the ADA-compliant ramp, and marvel at the fact that octagons have eight sides.  And as this particular boy grows he will be able to see the love that the people of Huntington Woods have for the mother he lost so young.  On May 12, 2015, a train derailment in Philadelphia claimed the life of 39-year-old Rachel Jacobs, who grew up in Huntington Woods.  Her mother, Gilda Jacobs, served as a State Senator and is well known in the community and beyond for her volunteerism and expertise in public policy issues.

garden16_helaine_zackThe family was honored with the gazebo, which was a gift put into Mary K. Davis Park by by her son, Ron David and his wife, Barbara Rom, who is Gilda’s lifelong friend, for the whole community to enjoy.  County Commissioner Helaine Zack and her husband Andy planted shrubs and flowers and committed to maintaining the landscaping.  And a whole list of volunteers and donors made the project possible.

Former Mayor Ron Gillham shared his sentiments at the Tuesday evening dedication ceremony, noting that current Mayor Bob Paul is out of the country.

“Some of you may remember the more colloquial name for this area.  It’s called Prom Park.  For many many years now, Berkley High School Seniors have come to this spot on the evening of prom so everyone could get pictures in their fancy clothes.  It was very nice.  I think this now will make a beautiful setting for many photographs.  It will probably be the most photographed gazebo in the country,” Gillham said.

Commissioner Zack read remarks on behalf of Barbara Davis, saying “The best lisa schmidt lawgifts are those that surprise you in a welcome way.  Rachel was most assuredly a gift right from the day of her birth.”

She said Huntington Woods was “a community Rachel cherished even as she lived in various places around the world.  No doubt this city and the surrounding contributed to her development into a remarkable woman.”

Rachel Jacobs was the CEO of Technology Education for ApprenNet and was a founder of Detroitblumz07 Nation, an organization devoted to promoting cultural and economic development in Detroit. She was a wife, a mother, and a busy woman following in her mother’s footsteps of working hard to make the world better.

On Thursday Berkley High School students have their prom, and the gazebo will begin to show up in social media feeds with nervous and excited teenagers posing with their friends and sweethearts.

“Just as we have warm wonderful memories of Rachel’s youth here in Michigan, we hope this gazebo and park will be a place of new warm memories for young people in Huntington Woods on their way to their prom or elsewhere as they make their way in the world just as garden16_mindy_domkeRachel did,” Zack read.

Gilda Jacobs also spoke briefly, surrounded by neighbors, family and friends.  “Rachel is a product of this community.  My daughter Jessie is a product of this community.  Everybody here in their own way helped raise our kids,” Jacobs said.  “There’s so many different parts that have made us.  And Rachel.  And Jessie.  You’re just such an important part of our lives I can’t even begin to tell you that.  John and I would not have gotten through this last year if it wasn’t for everybody here, and a lot of folks who were with us over the weekend.  You’re just incredibly important to all of us, and we’re just so grateful.”

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