Paul Gibson looked at his name on the pillar and smiled.

"It's very nice," he said.

The plaque reads Lt. Col. Paul Gibson, and it affirms his dedication to the Park of Roses.

Gibson, described by Park of Roses Foundation Development Director Nancy Walsh as the "most senior of the volunteers," was among the individuals, organizations and businesses to pay $3,000 each toward the 10 pillars at the park's renovated northwest entrance.

The completed project, which welcomes visitors to the formal rose garden with an arc of stone pillars and decorative iron fencing, was dedicated during a ceremony June 14.

Gibson, 89, who spent 30 years in the U.S. Army and saw action in both Korea and Vietnam, is a longtime volunteer and member of the Friends of Columbus Park of Roses.

"We still work him," Walsh said.

The 10 pillars, in addition to the names of donors, are topped by quotes from such notables as the Dalai Lama, Anne Frank and Joseph Campbell.

"The most fun thing I've ever done is picking out about 20 quotes for the pillars for the people to choose," Walsh said.

After Gibson led those in attendance June 14 in the Pledge of Allegiance, Tony Collins, director of the city's recreation and parks department, called the renovated entrance a "beautiful addition to this wonderful gem."

More than $41,000 was raised to pay for the new entryway, Collins said.

He praised the work of volunteers not only the Park of Roses but for the entire department as well.

"We can't do it without volunteers," he said, adding residents gave more than 150,000 hours of their time last year.

"We think this is a really nice addition," said Davis Sydnor, chairman of the Park of Roses Foundation board. "I want to thank the donors for their help in bringing this to fruition."

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the park's founding.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1