Fundraising efforts to make Lake Wichita a must-see recreational destination once again continued Thursday with a special guest speaker.
Attending the Lake Wichita Chapter of Friends of Reservoirs benefit dinner was the great-grandson of President Roosevelt lending his support to the project.
It's Theodore Roosevelt IV's family's long history of supporting conservation efforts that brought him to Texoma. He hopes his trip will help shine a spotlight on the Lake Wichita project as supporters work to bring it back to the social, recreational and economic hub it once was in the community.
"All Americans should feel a sense of stewardship. They should protect this for future generations, and their children's children," Roosevelt said.
And preserving all the beauty and wonder nature has to offer for generations to come is what brought the great grand-son of President Teddy Roosevelt to Wichita Falls Thursday night.
Roosevelt says he believes in protecting the diverse wildlife and habitats.... that are part of one of our nation's most redeeming qualities.
"This nation, if you look at it, is the only nation in the world that has the degree of bio-diversity that we have that's open to the public," Roosevelt said.
By supporting Lake Wichita revitalization he says he hopes to encourage others to donate their money and time to the project that aims to bring the man-made lake back to it's former glory.
"What a tribute to the town that they're going to do and I dare say other towns and other places are going to say 'we can do similar things,'"Roosevelt said. "And if that happens and it spreads across the state and other states.... this project will be an outstanding success," he said.
One of the leaders behind the restoration project says now that the devastating drought is over... he is looking forward to seeing the plans for the 115-year old lake become a reality.
"There's so many different things for people to be able to do," said Stephen Garner, Chairman for the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee. "We have an opportunity to put in a couple of beaches so people can go swim. We have an opportunity to put in several boat ramps so people can launch their boats and go fishing, or launch their jetskies," Garner said.
The plans include a brand new boardwalk where folks can shop and eat just like they did during the golden days of Lake Wichita.
The committee's goal is to raise 35-40 million dollars.
Garner says once the revitalization gets underway, it will be a three to six year project.
You can still donate to this project here.