Woman’s birthday wish to raise money for small town park

TYRONZA, Ark. — Forget the presents. One Arkansas woman is asking for something else when she blows out the candles on her birthday cake.

With a few strokes on the keyboard Linda Hinton decided to make her 67th birthday one to remember. But this birthday wish isn't about her.

"At my age for birthdays they can't give me anything that I need. So I just love giving back," Hinton explained.

Hinton lives in the tiny town of Tyronza, Arkansas, about a half-hour outside Memphis. The population is less than 1,000.

"This is where I raised my kids. My grandkids. It's where my heart is," she said.

The retired teacher's birthday wish is to help with the expansion of the Tyronza Park.

It's a gathering place for people from the surrounding small cities.

"We are the only park that's got the baby swings," she explained.

Hinton decided to ask people to donate money on behalf of her birthday when a notice from Facebook popped up.

Initially she set out to raise $200. She met that goal in hours. Her new goal is $2,000.

Thursday morning she was about halfway there.

"$880 plus we have $120 that have been turned in to city hall. I said we also accept big donations from corporations," she said with a laugh.

The park is working on expanding. She believes more amenities would help.

"We've talked about splash pads. We've talked about tennis courts. My dream project would be a pool or a water park there."

Hinton said private donations are crucial.

"When you're in a small town we don't have the opportunities that the larger places have. Even if we passed a sales tax for this park, we only have three businesses. "

They also depend on grants, which can be hard to come by.

Hinton hopes her fundraiser can be an inspiration for others.

"No matter what your age. You can still help."

Her birthday is July 21, which is the deadline to meet the $2,000.

If you would like to donate you can go to Hinton's Facebook page under "Linda Pitts Hinton," or you can send money to the Tyronza city hall that will be earmarked for park improvements.

The mailing address is PO Box 275 Tyronza, AR 72386.

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