by Joni Astrup
The Elk River Lions Club is requesting that the city rename Lions Park in honor of the late John Weicht.
The 35-acre park is located near School Street and Jackson Avenue, just north of downtown.
The Lions Club is asking that it be called Lion John Weicht Park to honor Weicht for his years of service and volunteerism to the community of Elk River and the Elk River Lions.
The Elk River Parks and Recreation Commission will take public input on the naming request June 11. The City Council will make the final decision on the name.
Deb Weston, president of the Elk River Lions, requested the name change.
In a letter to the city, Weston said Weicht was born and raised in Elk River and spent his life working as a general contractor and volunteering in the community.
He became a member of the Elk River Lions Club in the early 1980s and served in a number of leadership positions. He also built Lions Park Center, donating much of his services, in the park that the club hopes will now bear his name.
Weicht died May 13, 2012, at age 64 from cancer.
Weston said in her letter that renaming the park to honor Weicht would create “a living memorial to a wonderful humanitarian.”
In a letter to the city, Sandy Weicht gave her permission to rename the park to honor her late husband.
“He would have been so proud and humbled to be considered for this honor in his hometown, the town he loved,” she said.