MOULTRIE, Ga. – The park in the 600 block of Ninth Avenue Southeast is named to honor Mack J. McCormick, but it holds a special place for Dextra Polite.
Now a bench in the renovated park will honor Polite’s mother, Juanita Polite, who raised Dextra and his siblings right across the street.
In late September, Mrs. Polite passed away at the age of 67. On Wednesday, the City of Moultrie held a ceremony to exhibit the improvements at McCormick Park and to honor the memory of one of its beloved neighbors.
Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh spoke to the gathered crowd, asking them to look around and see the improvements.
“I know it will be appreciated by so many people,” he said. “We appreciate all the work. We thank all of our people with the City of Moultrie that had a hand in doing this. They did such a fine job.”
The additions and improvements include a water fountain, a picnic table and shelter, a plastic border around the playground equipment (a seesaw, a “rocking frog,” and a geometric climbing dome), a half-circle basketball court with a backboard and net, fencing and security lighting.
McIntosh said Lowe’s made a $2,500 donation toward the McCormick project.
Councilwoman Wilma Hadley, whose district includes McCormick Park, said Mack J. McCormick served in the U.S. Army and has a daughter still residing in southeast Moultrie.
McIntosh turned the program over to Dextra Polite, whose children Dezi and Dextra Jr. held the red ribbon as their father cut it. One of the park additions is a bench with an honorary marker for Juanita E. Polite.
“I just want to say thank you to the City Council members and you, Mayor, for dedicating this (bench) to my mother,” said an emotional Polite. “For all the good things that she does for this side of town and the people of the community, she’s going to be missed.
“I know she’s looking down, telling me to suck it up.”
Polite said the park was a major part of him and others growing up. He went on to be a part of Colquitt County High’s first state championship football team in 1994, attended Clemson University and then returned to Moultrie as a long-time secondary coach for the Packer football program.