By KELLI CATANA
---- — PLATTSBURGH — During the centennial year of Rotary International more than 10 years ago, Gilbert Zahn and former Plattsburgh Mayor Dan Stewart began planning Centennial Park.
During a ceremony this week, Noon Rotary Club President Vicki Marking dedicated Centennial Park, along the city lakefront, to Zahn’s memory. He died from pancreatic cancer on Sept. 26, 2010.
The park is located off Ohio Avenue on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. It features a large covered picnic area, three concrete picnic tables and trails.
In his 30 years as a Rotarian and as a Noon Rotary Club president, Gil strongly believed in the organization and what it does, his wife, Nancy, said.
During Rotary International’s 100th year, the club encouraged lasting building projects that would benefit the community, Marking said.
Nancy said her husband thought the park would be a perfect project. He worked with Centennial Park Co-Chair Barbara Straw and other Rotary Club members to make it a reality.
Donations from around the community and from club members working together made his goal — to complete projects that people would remember — a success.
State Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) attended the noon luncheon and spoke during the dedication.
“It could not be named in honor of a better person,” she said.
Marking said new signs and a plaque in Gil’s honor will include the names of donors who made completion of the project possible.
She said the park is perfect for family picnics and weddings.
City Recreation Superintendent Steve Peters said there is no signup to use the area; it is a first-come, first-served park.
“We want to let people know the park is here and available to the public,” Marking said.
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