A karate club called Team Tiger might conjure up visions of the late Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris. But owner/ operator Charles Cook Jr. has a different image in mind, one of civic responsibility and community pride.
On a recent Saturday, some 65 members of the Team Tiger club – ranging from tiny children to those approaching their 80s – gathered at Ed Herring Park in the Eaglewood subdivision of Hope Mills to do a little civic improvement.
Cook, who has operated Team Tiger for about four years, said his group is adopting the park with a stated goal of trying to keep it clean and possibly provide some new equipment on the grounds for the public to enjoy.
The focus of his business at Team Tiger is to teach karate, and also to teach the young people who attend lessons in character. He wants to ensure they can make good decisions when adults aren’t around to guide them.
But Cook wanted to take that teaching a step forward. “We adopted Camden Road a few years ago but didn’t feel it was as productive as it needed to be,’’ he said.
While driving through Eaglewood to avoid the traffic on Hope Mills Road, Cook found Ed Herring Park. “One day it came across my mind we should do something (about it),’’ he said, “pick it up and make it more attractive. We could have a different impact instead of picking up on the side of the road.’’
The plan, for starters, is to send a crew of volunteers from Team Tiger into the park at least once a month, hopefully reaching a point where they can visit it less frequently just to keep things maintained.
Cook went to Hope Mills Commissioner Meg Larson with the idea. She in turn put him in contact with Mayor Jackie Warner and town manager Melissa Adams. “Two or three days later, I was sitting with the town council,’’ he said.
Cook said the organization also wants to help purchase some new equipment for the park. “We want to arrange a fundraiser,’’ Cook said. “It will depend on the money we raise to see what piece of equipment we can obtain.’’
If you would like further information on the fundraiser or how to help with Team Tiger’s monthly cleanup plans for the park, contact Cook at 910-366-4381.