George Ridder/Dave Bell Memorial Park undergoes construction improvements

By Ryne Turke on September 12, 2015 at 10:02am

Phase One of a community park project in Roodhouse, which honors the lives of two men who died from Greene County, has been completed.

Project leader Nathan Newingham says the George Ridder/Dave Bell Memorial Park improvements are tied together with the town’s annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

“We thought it would take us quite a few years to raise the money. When they passed, that is when I brought it to the Mayor, City Council and Park Board here in town. They suggested we name this after these two guys. That really got the ball rolling as far as community involvement and everybody was all for it,” says Newingham.

George Ridder, originally from Franklin, was the athletic director at North Greene for many years and coached multiple sports in the area. Newingham says Dave Bell was always around North Greene basketball and put a ton of time and effort into helping kids.

Newingham says it was an emotional atmosphere during the dedication ceremony on Thursday. He hopes the community will get the most out of the improvements to the park.

“We built a basketball court and rebuilt the area. We are planning on having a Phase Two and Three, as long as money keeps coming in. That will consist of a splash pad for children, a small skate park and an additional basketball court for children 10 and under,” says Newingham.

Both Bell and Ridder passed away three years ago in accidents.

Roughly $20,000 has been donated toward the project. To make a donation or check out the new park, head out to the 1st through 5th grade 3-on-3 Tournament running on Sunday at the park. The opening games start at 1 p.m.