Family's love for Lenox prompts donation for pavilion at Lilac Park
LENOX — Lilac Park, the downtown community gathering place for band concerts, fairs and festivals, will soon have a pavilion to stage a variety of events.
To fund the project, the Select Board has approved a significant donation of up to $35,000 from the Lagarce family, which has deep roots in town through five generations going back more than 100 years.
The pavilion is "a way for us to give back to the town. We want to do it in a very quiet way, and we didn't want a lot of recognition," said Jeff Lagarce, who now lives in downtown Boston.
"We just take away a lot of good feeling that we're giving something to the town that gave so much to us when we were growing up," he said. "We wanted something that looks nice and fits in with the Lilac Park environment for people to enjoy."
The concept of a pavilion, which was suggested to the family by Select Board Chairman Edward Lane after consulting with former Selectman Kenneth Fowler and others, is "a great idea for the use of the park," Lagarce added.
The 14-by-24 foot pavilion will be located in the back of the park. It will be powered by Pignatelli Electric for low-key lighting and multi-use capability and situated on a downward slope in a natural amphitheater setting.
Following excavation and work on a base, the structure will be delivered as a kit and assembled in time for events starting next spring and summer.
The Select Board voted on Wednesday to accept the funds for the pavilion.
"This is a gracious donation by a standup family that did a lot for the town over the years," Lane said.
Fowler, who organizes the park's long-running weekly Concerts in the Park series featuring area musicians on summertime Wednesday evenings, first presented the proposal to the Select Board last month for site approval. He said that previous ideas for a structure in the park had fallen through, but "the money is within reach so it's going to happen this time."
"We're not proposing a pond," Fowler joked amid laughter, "just a pavilion; something less-complicated, more simplistic, and it will probably be put on a slab so there will be very little maintenance."
Public Works Superintendent William Gop said he's on board with the project.
Ken Lagarce, who lives in Lenox, noted that his great-grandparents immigrated to Lenox from France. His late father, George, was long a longtime selectman, and his brother Gary retired from the local police force a few years ago. Ken and Jeff are among seven offspring of George and of Anne Lagarce, who's 95 and lives at the assisted living facility in Kimball Farms Life Care community.
"Bands won't have to run extension cords for the concerts," Ken Lagarce pointed out. "This will make life easier for everybody, and the park will get more usage for local events."
The design for the pavilion was selected so it would fit in with the town's new Community Garden in the back section of the park off Main Street.
The rustic, colonial look of the pavilion fits in with the Church on the Hill parish house and the garden, Ken Lagarce said. "This will be something permanent and aesthetically appealing, which will be nice for everybody," he said.
The Select Board members warmly welcomed the Lagarce family's donation.
"This will make everything we do in the park in the summer that much more safe and spectacular," said Select Board member Marybeth Mitts.
Clarence Fanto can be reached at email@example.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.
This story has been corrected to state that Ken Lagarce's brother's name is Gary.
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