By Ted Shockley
Opening ceremonies were held Friday evening for Central Accomack Little League, but not before a heartfelt dedication of the facility’s new playground, named in memory of Tiffany Lewis Smith.
“There’s a lot of love over there on that playground,” said Melissa Martin Payne, addressing a large crowd from the league’s softball field.
“We have all of you to thank for it,” she said.
Smith, 41, the wife of Mark Smith Sr., and a resident of Accomac, succumbed to cancer on May 2, 2017.
She spent many hours helping the Little League and supporting her sons, Ross and Brandon, as they played baseball.
Tiffany Smith was well-known as the business office manager for Intrepid USA Healthcare Services and as a stalwart supporter of the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Relay For Life.
Payne at the ceremony described Smith as a “dear, dear friend” who “meant a lot to a lot of us in the community.”
The facility is called “Tiffany’s Sundog Playground.” Before she died, Smith told her family and friends to think of her whenever they saw a “Sundog,” or an atmospheric circumstance in which bright spots appear to the left and the right of the sun.
Thanks to fundraiser softball tournaments and a contribution from the Eastern Shore Community Foundation, the money was raised for a modern playground. It features a plaque with Smith’s image and a description of her dedication to the league.
The playground also features a fence etched with the names of contributors. Personalized fence pickets are still available for those making a $100 donation.
Even with a little rain for the ceremony, Smith’s sunny presence was evident.
“I know she’s smiling down on us right now,” said Payne.