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Lions Park gets new playground equipment

Bench honoring local resident also part of the dedication

Published: Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 10:47 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 7:37 p.m. CST
(Heidi Litchfield –
Georgia Eliakis is comforted by her grandson, Kris Eliakis and Morris Lion Judy Miller, as she cries looking at the "Lion Louie" bench that was installed at Lions Park in honor of her late husband, Louie Eliakis.
(Heidi Litchfield –
Morris Lions Club President Stephanie Coleman and Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick test out the new playground equipment on Thursday night at Lions Park in Morris.
(Heidi Litchfield –
Morris Lions Club members, Grundy County Chamber members and Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick were on hand Thursday to cut the ribbon at the new playground equipment at Morris Lions Park.
(Heidi Litchfield –
Georgia Eliakis sits on the bench that honors her late husband "Lion Louie" at the new playground at Lions Park in Morris.

MORRIS – Morris Lions Club member Louie Eliakis loved watching the kids play in Lions Park on Michael Drive in Morris.

So when the Morris Lions Club had new playground equipment installed, they included a special bright yellow bench with “Lion Louie” etched in the back.

“He always cared for the kids and liked cleaning up the park in the spring,” Lions member Judy Miller said.

As his wife Georgia Eliakis, daughter-in-law Marcy Eliakis and grandson Kris Eliakis looked at the shiny new bench Thursday, Georgia wiped tears from her eyes.

“I miss him very much,” she said. “I remember all the years, 57 years, we used to have picnics in the park, without picnic tables.”

Kris Eliakis said he remembers how is grandfather always played ball with him and his brother, even when he was tired. He thought the bench facing the new playground was the perfect dedication to him.

“I’m very proud they recognized him today,” Marcy Eliakis said. “He was a member of a fine organization.”

The memorials donated to the Lions raised the money for the bench that will help others remember Lion Louie.

Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick and representatives from the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce were on hand Thursday night to officially open the new playground equipment at the park.

The Morris Lions Club has been working all year to make improvements, starting with $3,990 for new roofs on the pavilion and washroom building. The new playground equipment and benches cost $24,802, and installation costs were $9,775.

“Mayor Kopczick worked with us to stay within the $30,000 budgeted for this project, by having the City of Morris donate $3,775, to help the Lions with the installation costs,” Miller said.

After the ribbon cutting and dedication Lions Club members held their annual picnic where they look at their previous year, and start planning toward future endeavors.

Morris Lions Club has funded nearly $65,000 in projects during the past fiscal year.


Membership in the Morris Lions Club is open to anyone seeking to help the community and have a good time working with fellow Lions. Meetings are the first and third Thursdays at Eagles Hall in Morris, and information is available at or on Facebook at Lions Club of Morris.

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