New Park Opened Up In Lakeland, Florida With Help From Hall of Famer Ray Lewis


“Former football player Ray Lewis speaking to a crowd on Saturday at the opening of a new park in Lakeland.” Spectrum News Photo credit: Stephanie Claytor, staff

Jasmeen Rivera, Reporter

A new park opened up Saturday morning in Lakeland, Florida with the help from Pro-Footballer and Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who volunteered to be the park’s guest speaker. The park is now named Douglas Cooke after the businessman who donated $2.25 million for the plot of land be bought by the city before his unfortunate passing. The park will be where the Lakeland Police Athletic League call home. This includes their football, baseball, and cheerleading teams. According to Tim Abram,  Lakeland Police Athletic League Executive Director, the goal for them is to keep children off the streets and help develop “productive citizens in our community. Our mission is to fill playgrounds, not prisons,” Abram stated to Spectrum News.

Ray Lewis made an appearance opening day in his Roll Royce, amongst many other people to accompany him and join the celebration. His message to the kids was to “dream big” and “don’t let what our circumstances say can’t happen.” Lewis is now considering opportunities to contribute to the well-being of Lakeland, this including a “Ray Lewis School” similar to the LeBron James’ I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. He is sitting with the school board, coming up with ideas and ways to give back.