TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - Organizers of a bid to win funding for a dog park in Texarkana, Texas are vowing to name it after a young local girl who was among the victims of the Albert Pike flash flood three years ago.
7-year-old Kylee Sullivan of Texarkana was among several killed in the flooding in June 2011.
"It was seven years of heaven to be around that little girl," recalls grandfather Jewell Sullivan, who says the youngster loved animals, especially dogs.
The little girl had a pet kennel set up in their back yard, and even a small pet cemetery. She avidly helped her grandparents provide security for stray animals. "She had a heart, not just for animals, but for people," says Sullivan.
That's why the a local animal rescue organization and others in Texarkana plan to name a proposed dog park after Kylee, if they can win the "Bark for your Park" contest to build it. First prize for the annual PetSafe-sponsored competition is $100,000 to go toward construction of such a park.
At last county, Texarkana, TX had a slight lead in the votes, but the leaderboard goes dark in the last week of voting. "We are very hopeful for the win, but it is still uncertain," Tarpley says. "That is the hard part. Not knowing."
Tarpley says winning and naming it after Kylee would be an excellent way to remember her. Her grandparents agree.
"If we can get the park and for it to be named for Kylee, it is a wonderful way to have her memory live on and that is important to all of us that Kylee is not forgotten," says Barbara Sullivan.
At last count, Texarkana, TX had a slight lead in the voting among 15 finalist cities all over the country. Voting ends on July 26. Individuals can vote twice a day, once on the PetSafe web site and once on their Facebook Page.
The winning city will learn in a surprise announcement on July 31. Voters do not have to live in Texarkana to be eligible to vote.