After a year of fundraising, the Roxton Friends of Chaparral Rails to Trails met its $25,000 goal for part of a Texas Department of Transportation matching grant.
“We were just delighted that we did,” Lou Carolyn Rutherford, a member of the group, said.
Initially, the Chaparral Rails to Trails Inc. group asked Roxton to put up $65,000 for the matching $1 million grant through the state, but a couple of months later, the organization came back with a lower matching amount of $25,000.
“We’ve worked hard to get it, but we got there,” Rutherford said, adding the group took the whole year to raise the money, sending out donation letters, hosting fundraisers like Roxton Saturday Night, 5 and 10K fun runs and raffling off a couple of rifles. The committee is made up of Jerimy Bell, Necie Birdsong, Stephanie Bunt, Tom Bunt, Michael Bush, Shirley Cooper, George Haneke, Dan and Mary Lake, Ronnie and Nancy Rhodes, Phillip and Lou Carolyn Rutherford, Larry Shepard, Jean Trevino and Jeanne Tuley.
They don’t have quite the same advantages as some other cities participating in the grant, like Clarksville, Rutherford said.
“We just don’t have as many businesses to call on for pledges, so we had to do it on our own,” Rutherford said.
The Chaparral Rails to Trails is working on getting sections of the Northeast Texas Trail, which runs from the edge of the Dallas metroplex to the edge of the Texarkana metropolitan area, into a usable condition for hiking and biking. Right now, the cities along the trail are responsible for maintaining their section. Rutherford said Roxton’s share is 2.6 miles, keeping it clean and clearing any garbage. However, the members of the trail are working to get the 130-mile multi-use trail approved as a linear state park.
Now that the group’s goal has been met, they plan on sticking around, Rutherfor said. She will be making a presentation on Monday night to the Roxton City Council to discuss what they plan on doing in the future.