Steve Axthelm is one of those unheralded, overlooked, under- (as in “non-“) paid volunteers who make Westport what it is.
He served for many years on the Parks & Recreation Commission, and the board of Westport Baseball & Softball. His goal was to give everyone an opportunity to play sports, have fun, and enjoy Westport’s amenities.
Two weeks ago — when the sale of his house closed — Steve resigned from both posts. He and his wife Laura headed to North Carolina.
Here’s his final message to Parks & Rec — and to the town he’s loved, and given so much to:
“It has been an honor to serve on the Westport Parks & Recreation Commission. I’m proud of what we have accomplished together, and think we have been an example of a group that puts serving the community over politics or personal desires.
“I’m especially pleased with what we were able to accomplish at Compo Beach, especially the walkways and the bathroom on South Beach to provide accessibility and enjoyment to all. The stewardship and improvement of the town’s parks and sports facilities has been steadfast. Thanks go to Charlie Haberstroh and my fellow commissioners, and to Jen Fava and her team for outstanding work over the years.
“One regret: we did not get the skate park done. It is severely outdated, and an eyesore at Compo. No other sports group has to use such a poor facility in Westport.
“A beautiful concrete skatepark will be an enhancement to Compo and a boon to a robust skateboarding community. Skate Camp counselor Gabriel Dick and Skate Camp director James Bowles will rally the skateboarding community for fundraising.
“In the past skateboarding was an afterthought, and participants were sometimes characterized as misfits (hmmm, I was a skateboarder when I was a grommet, inventing gnarly moves to grind the dinosaurs). It is simply a great sport in which to hone athleticism and creativity. And now it is an Olympic Sport.
“Our skateboarders and our town deserve this. Let’s get it built!