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Cabinetmaker leaves gift for waterpark in Litchfield

LITCHFIELD -- Litchfield's dream of its own waterpark is on its way to becoming a reality thanks to the gift of a late cabinetmaker and his wife.

Gordon Crider, former Litchfield resident and owner of Crider Cabinet Shop, died in October, but not before updating his will to include a significant gift to the Litchfield Area Community Foundation, a partner of the Southwest Initiative Foundation.

Vivian Crider, Gordon's wife, died in 1991.

According to a news release from the Litchfield Area Community Foundation, Crider's estate will distribute approximately $480,000 to the Litchfield foundation as a lead gift to an overall $2.5 million project. The Litchfield foundation, as the recipient of the gift, will designate a fund to support the project.

Before his death, Crider, along with Lorraine Whitcomb, investigated various charitable opportunities in the area. Through his contact with the Litchfield Area Community Foundation, Crider determined a waterpark would be a cause worthy of Crider's contributions, according to the news release.

The city has been investigating a waterpark for more than three years, creating an advisory committee to oversee the potential of a waterpark for the community.

Rose Lendt, chair of the Litchfield Family Aquatic Center Advisory Committee, said that the group has held town meetings and participated in Watercade events to inform the community and found a high level of interest and support.

"Our committee is overwhelmed with the generosity of the Crider family and we are truly excited to have this lead donation to help make this waterpark a reality," Lendt said.

The advisory committee will now work in partnership with the Litchfield Area Community Foundation to implement the activities needed to raise the remaining dollars necessary for the waterpark, and has tentatively named the facility Litchfield's Legacy Waterpark with an eye toward recognizing both the Criders' legacy and the legacies of others.