Moments earlier, the town Council announced that Callahan had been appointed as Parrish’s first-ever park director and would help guide the new facility and its programs into what Mayor Wayne Gross called a “bright new era for our town.”
“It’s a historic day for us to be able to see this come to fruition, as it means that Parrish’s future has an additional instrument that will help us shape and manage the limitless potential of our new park,” Gross said during Callahan’s introduction. “I knew the first time I heard Jerry speak at his interview that he was the individual we were looking for. We are very thankful that he has accepted the position and are eager to work alongside of him.”
Councilor Cedrick Ramsey, a friend of Callahan’s, also expressed his joy of the appointment and spoke on the many benefits the new park director brings to the town.
“I’ve known Jerry for a very long time and I can tell you that he will be outstanding in his role in our community,” Ramsey said. “Jerry brings a lot of passion and enthusiasm to his new duties. He has a deep love of children and community, which is going to help him make wise and insightful decisions in regards to our park. But above all else, Jerry also has tremendous character. He’s a very good person who works hard in helping others.”
Callahan has been working in the park and recreation system since he was 16 years old.
A native of Jasper, he has also spent years coaching basketball, baseball and softball teams — as well as serving as a referee and umpire for many sports.
He said the ideal of Parrish’s “old town, new spirit” motto, together with the progress that the area is making, drew him to the opportunity.
“When I thought of the prospects of both this new park and the town overall, it motivated me to want to be a part of it,” Callahan said. “It’s that motivation that I will carry with me as, together with the community, will help me work hard to build a park and athletic programs that our town will be proud of and our children will want to participate in. We have great people here in Parrish who are eager to work with us and show support — and when you have that in place, the sky is the limit.”