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New director to bring flourishing future to park

Date: 3/3/2009

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD -- The Stanley Park of Westfield Inc. Board of Directors recently appointed a new managing director to lead the facility into a flourishing future.

Robert Bob McKean, 60, of Southampton, takes the helm during the park s 60th anniversary.

I m honored and humbled to have been chosen, McKean said during an interview with Reminder Publications, adding that he is enthused to carry on the tradition that Frank Stanley Beveridge started 60 years ago.

It is really an honor to be here and be a part of this [tradition but] I m just the driver of the bus here, he continued.. There are a lot of people who ve been here long before me and they re on the bus with me. Everybody is working together as one wheel [to help us] move forward.

McKean said he and the staff will be working toward acquiring funds for capital improvements and programming, as well as funding for a veterans memorial for all those who serve.

McKean, an Air Force veteran, was employed at the Department of Veterans Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston for over a decade. During his tenure, he secured over $18 million in grant funding for the state s two veterans cemeteries.

McKean said he plans to use his vast managerial knowledge to work together with those at the park to usher in a new period of development at Stanley Park.

Patricia Burden, director of development for the park, noted that numerous celebratory programs will be taking place to mark the location s 60 years throughout 60 Days of Celebration from June to August.

Programs will include the grand opening of the Accessible Walkways in Asian Garden and the Wheel Walk for all those with physical handicaps. Burden noted that the event will ensure that the park is accessible for all.

Other events will include the third annual Grand Ole 4th of July celebration, a Feng Shui workshop, And All That Jazz formal 60th anniversary celebration and Louie Liptak Sr. Day, a picnic and dance celebration of his service as park supervisor.

Burden noted that during the 60 Days of Celebration, the park will issue a proclamation for a deserving park enthusiast during each day of the 60 days of festivities. Those wishing to send in a nomination can call 572-2900 or mail in a nomination to the Office of Development, 400 Western Ave., Westfield, MA 01085.

For more information about Stanley Park s 60th Anniversary Celebration, visit their Web site at