Progress Center dedicates trail, park to clients who passed away

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NORWAY — The Matthew Record Memorial Park and Trail was dedicated Friday morning in a ceremony at the Progress Center attended by dozens of his family and friends.

Record, the son of Jean and Merle Record, owners of Record Lumber and Record Building Supply, was a client of the Progress Center for many years before passing away in 2006 at the age of 29.

“We loved him so much,” his mother, Jean Record, said at the dedication. “We’re so thankful we can keep his memory alive through this park. I know he’d be really happy.”

Record was described by his mother as a “gorgeous young man” with Tom Cruise-like blue eyes who loved being outdoors and with his friends.

He was born with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (childhood epileptic encephalopathy). He attended Guy E. Rowe School in Norway for many years and graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in 1997 before attending the Progress Center.

The completion of the three-looped, handicapped-accessible trail and park was called “a labor of love” by those at the dedication.

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The trail and park, at 35 Cottage St., connects to the parking lot across from the Norway Fire Department on Beal Street near the trail head of the Oxford Hills Railroad Trail. It was designed and planned for use by the greater Oxford Hills community. It has three loops that are handicapped-accessible.

The park features picnic tables and a wheelchair swing-glider. The trail has handmade wooden benches and small viewing gardens along the way. It is open to the public from 2 p.m. until dusk during the week and from dawn to dusk on weekends and most holidays.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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