Cedar City to honor beloved teacher with a park

Sep 27, 2022, 7:58 AM | Updated: 1:43 pm

CEDAR CITY, Utah — There’s an effort underway in Cedar City to honor a beloved teacher who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.

Pam Garfield Smith touched the lives of her elementary students, their parents and the community of Cedar City during her 30 years as a teacher in the Iron County School District.

They want to give back by building a park in her memory in a place that desperately needs one.

“She made every kid in her classroom feel like they were her favorite,” Sheral Whicker said. “Four of my children had Pam as a fourth-grade teacher. She taught a lesson on grit and perseverance and with every one of my kids and taught them about moving forward through trials and hard times.”

Meanwhile, she was fighting for her life.

“She suffered with cancer for four years and fought and persevered,” Whicker said.

A group of students, parents and community members wants to keep her memory alive.

They are raising money to build a park that bears her name.

“This is purely a grassroots effort with kids putting their pennies together and families trying to create their own fundraisers,” Whicker said.

This would be the first park on the north side of Cedar City.

“We don’t have a grocery store out here. We don’t have parks, we don’t have any retail,” said Whicker.

There would also be an outdoor classroom in Smith’s honor.

Smith was Jenny Call’s sixth grade teacher.

“My oldest daughter, Pam had her,” Call said. “My second daughter Adelaide was in her class and ended up being her last year in teaching.”

Call said Smith also bonded with her husband Kenton, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was a big advocate for parks.

“He sat on the parks and trails committee,” she said. “He helped get a trail in our neighborhood where we want the park to be.”

He died six months before Smith. Call said their love for the outdoors and learning can live on with this park.

“Just having a place where kids can just pick up a book to take along the trail down to the park would be really meaningful for me and our whole neighborhood,” she said.

Whicker said the city is in the process of securing land and some funding for the park, but the group is petitioning the city council to name the park. They are trying to raise $100,000.

Here’s how you can donate:

  • Fundraiser by Sheral Whicker: Pam Garfield Smith Memorial Fund (GoFundMe*)
  • Make checks payable to Pam Garfield Smith Memorial Park Fund (tax-deductible)
  • Donate at State Bank Under the Pam Garfield Smith Memorial Fund
  • Call 435-590-4784 for other payment options
  • Donations can be delivered to:
    • Sheral Whicker at 2161 N. Cliffrose Drive in Cedar City
    • Renae Slack at 1353 N. Parkside Drive in Cedar City

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Cedar City to honor beloved teacher with a park