The city of Destin gave one last honor to the late Nancy Weidenhamer this week by naming the Destin Dog Park after her.
The new sign reads Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park. Nancy worked with city officials for years to make the dog park a reality. She passed away on June 24 after a short battle with cancer.
“That park was her baby and it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for her,” said the city’s Parks and Recreational Director Lance Johnson.
Nancy’s commitment to better Destin dates back to 1990s when she was involved in numerous city committees. Along with her husband, Tom, she showed support for the city by attending every event she could and she also regularly attended city council meetings.
“She was heavily involved with the city. … There were very few city council meetings I didn’t see her in,” Johnson said.
One of the most notable contributions to the city was her efforts to create the dog park, which gave her the nickname “Destin Dog.” Nancy created fundraising campaigns to raise $38,000 and the city matched the donation. The dog park officially opened in January 2012.
“She spent a lot of time knocking on doors, hosting fundraising events and even sold T-shirts,” said Doug Rainer, the city’s spokesperson. “Anything she could think of to help raise money for the park, she wasn’t afraid to try it.”
Rainer said Nancy embodied everything that is pure and noble in the Destin community.
“She led by example, never complaining and always ready to help in anyways she could,” he said.
Nancy is remembered as a wonderful wife, mother, friend, volunteer and of course as the “Destin Dog.”
“I remember the big smile and twinkle on her face when we did the ribbon-cutting of park,” Johnson said. “It was definitely one of her biggest moments, wearing her Destin dog outfit. It’s unbelievable what she would of done for that dog park.”
Rainer said without Nancy’s vision and hard work, dog lovers wouldn’t have that park to spend quality time with their pets.
“Her dedication to the city went beyond the city’s established committees and the dog park is a great example of that.” Rainer said.