Group to hold benefit breakfast for founder of park

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 8:17 p.m. CST; updated 8:58 p.m. CST, Friday, December 4, 2009

COLUMBIA – After Lewis Stoerker’s 9-year-old daughter died after being struck by a car, he established Carol Lew Park, now known as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, to commemorate his daughter and her love for the outdoors.  

Now, years after his death, members of Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, including his widow Dorothy Stoerker-Peters, plan to incorporate a kiosk at the park as a tribute to Stoerker.

“It was through his effort and that of several close friends in local civic groups that the park became a community commodity,” said Susan Haines, president of Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

Stoerker-Peters and Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park will hold a benefit breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Applebee’s, 2601 E. Broadway, in order to raise money to help fund the building of the kiosk.

They envision the kiosk to be a roofed structure with panels that will tell the story of the history of the park, be a focal point for park attendees and give more information about Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park's activities. The Department of Natural Resources will help to decide what will be included in the kiosk as well as help design the artwork.

Haines said the project is estimated to cost about $65,000. “We are hoping to have a significant turnout toward reaching our goal over the weekend,” she said. “Since this is our first fundraiser we are not quite sure what to anticipate at this time, but our hopes are high.”

Breakfast costs $5 for adults and will include pancakes, bacon, eggs and hash browns. Children less than 8 years old are free. Three dollars from every meal will be used to fund the kiosk, and Santa Claus will also be at the event.

Haines said plans for the kiosk will be on display at Saturday’s breakfast.

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