Church donates water fountain to The Thread

Published 6:33 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On Sunday, members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church dedicated a water fountain on The Thread, behind the church, in honor of church member Mary Lou Dabbs.

Dabbs was part of a church group that discussed community outreach methods to take advantage of St. Mark’s location beside The Thread. After talking to city officials, the church decided that a water fountain would address a major need on the trail.

“To me, it is about the gift of hospitality,” Mary Lou Dabbs said. “People walking The Thread need water, and the fact that they can fill their water bottle, water their dog or get a drink themselves is, I think, a really nice opportunity. It is a nice place that everyone is welcome.”

Dabbs’ son donated the fountain in her honor as a way to create a welcoming area within the community. He hoped to surprise his mother with the donation.

“When she [told me about it], it sounded like the perfect confluence of the church welcoming in the community and reaching out to it,” said James Dabb, who donated the fountain. “It seemed like a really neat thing to be involved with.”

The location of the fountain was chosen because its location near both the church and the trail head. Community partnerships are a major part of work on The Thread, and city officials were thrilled with the donation.

“I am very excited about St. Mark’s donation of a water fountain at the Haralson Street trailhead,” said LaGrange City Planner Leigh Threadgill in an email. “Thread users, both human and dog alike, will certainly appreciate cool, fresh water after a work-out on the trail. Community partners help improve quality of life in LaGrange and are so appreciated for doing so.”

The conversation on how to serve the community through The Thread began among church members at St. Mark’s last summer, and the resulting fountain will now serve the community on the church’s behalf.

“We hope that especially as summer comes along and it gets hotter and hotter that people will find some refreshment and cool off a little bit and their dogs as well,” said the Rev. Allen Pruitt. “In terms of impact for the church, we just hope that it stands there as a constant sign of St. Mark’s care for the community and our desire to be integrated into the community and not just be a church building for some people but a place for all people.”

The church has made several efforts to support the community through outreach since the Model Mile of The Thread opened, including opening up bathrooms to participants of a race.

Allen said he is grateful for his congregation’s spirit of service, and he is excited to continue to support the community.

“We’ve tried to open up our parking lot and as much as we can open up our doors for people to be able to use the space, and we are grateful to have the pavilion space and all that stuff that we can share with folks,” Pruitt said.

To learn more about The Thread, visit