By KAREN FREEMAN
You can ask almost anyone in Huffman and they can tell you where its located Go down FM2100 turn on Wolf Rd. and its right there, next to the park And they would be right, however, if they told you the name of the Community Center is the I.T. May Community Center, on that count they would be wrong. I.T. May gave his name to the park that sits next to the Center, his wife Vera, gave her name to the Center. And last Thursday, as the doors of the new building swung wide to accept its vast number of guests, the building was officially christened the Vera Brummett Community Center.
Since the donation of the Park in 1969, the Center has undergone several changes. Perhaps you have been in the community long enough to remember it at its beginning. The 10 acres was purchased by I.T. May when he was just 20 years old. It quickly became a portion of what would later total over 4000 acres of prime rice field. And the acreage held another special appeal as it lay next to land once owned by his grandfather. Never one for publicity, May quietly donated the land so that area children would have a place to play ball. If not for a close family friend, Mays generosity may have never come to light. It was not until the dedication of the Park that I.T. was informed that the Park would bear his name.
The building most of us are familiar with measured just at 4000 square feet. The new one spans over 18,000 square feet, and architect Mike Swain did an incredible job of designing its layout. Beautiful arches of hand-brushed wood, polished tile and gleaming glass beckons visitors to its interior. A full sized kitchen and banquet room are available to the public for a nominal security fee, which is refundable if all aspects of the rental agreement are met. An intergenerational facility, the Center has something for everyone in the community. We offer all types of classes and instruction here at the community center, stresses Michelle Thompson, Acting Director. Our doors are open to all citizens; from the young to the retired community. I hope that everyone will come by to visit and take advantage of the many educational formats we have to offer.
From painting on canvas and making birdbaths to learning how to play card games and grow native plants, the classes at the Center offer a little something for everyone. Novices are welcome and if you have a special skill or talent, you are invited to join the staff of volunteers and spread your knowledge.
Commissioner Jerry Eversole was on hand to assist in the ribbon cutting, as were several members of the May family. Thirty-four years ago at the dedication of the Park, Commissioner Ramsey stated, Im sure there are going to be many happy youngsters for many generations to come Thursday, Commissioner Eversole echoed this same sentiment when he stated, The value of this Center will be decided upon in the years to come as citizens of this community enjoy the facility. Once you enter the doors, then you will be the judge of its worth Most impressive was the presence of Mrs. Vera Brummett May herself. And it would seem that Mrs. May shares I.T.s desire to remain behind the scenes. When asked if she would be speaking that afternoon at the dedication her reply of, Oh gosh, I hope not, brought smiles and chuckles from the many bystanders. While shy to speak in front of the masses, she is willing to share her thoughts and opinions on the Center for this publication. Mrs. Vera Brummett May states, I am extremely pleased and proud of the new Vera Brummett May Community Center. When my late husband (Irby Taft May) and I first donated the property to Precinct 4, we envisioned a facility that could be used and enjoyed by the entire community. I feel, and I am sure Irby would feel, that this Community Center and sports complex [not only] meets, [but] exceeds our expectations. I want to thank Commissioner Eversole, Architect Mike Swain, and the staff and employees at Precinct 4 for their hard work and the time expended to create this state-of-the-art gathering place for the community. Giving is a family affair with the May family, and we are proud and grateful to be the recipients of their generosity.
By KAREN FREEMAN