The largest ship in Commerce was christened at the Great Outdoor Discovery Area at the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum. Since the ship was finished in February, walking the gangplank or climbing the rock wall has become a popular activity at the Children’s Museum.
Plans for the ship were purchased by Dixie Turman and her husband, Bob Stachowiak. Working with a group of volunteers with expertise in building, the blueprint was transformed into a strong wooden structure with a slide and climbing wall. The volunteers that worked on the ship were led by Bob Stachowiak and Justin Crossland and included Joe Shipman, Justin Bryant, Charlie Smith, Greg Hooten, Luke Hooten, Jim Patton, Tony Hunter, Jim Brown, Al & Rose Stapleton, Don & Debbie Daffron. The group was recently recognized at the Commerce Chamber of Commerce Banquet with the 2015 Distinguished Community Service Award.
“I cannot say enough about the group of volunteers who built the SS Good Neighbor. The group worked ten hour days in January and February to get the ship ready for the children. The ship has become a highlight for all visitors to the Children’s Museum,” said Sharline Freeman, Director of the Children’s Museum.
The SS Good Neighbor now proudly flies the flag of Dixie Turman State Farm
Insurance. “I wanted to do something for the Children’s Museum that would benefit the children in our area. The SS Good Neighbor provides a variety of ways that children can play. They can climb the rock wall, go down the slide, or run up the gang plank. I love driving by the Children’s Museum and seeing all the children on the SS Good Neighbor,” said Dixie Turman of Dixie Turman State Farm Insurance.