Boys donate birthday money to Millennium Park Rebuilding effort

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been five months since the Lake Area's beloved Millennium Park was burnt down. Since then the community has vowed to rebuild it bigger and better. Among those keeping that promise are two local 12-year-old boys who share a birthday and a very special birthday wish.

"I just liked Millennium Park when I was a kid. So I thought this year for my birthday why not donate to Millennium Park, instead of being selfish for ourselves and keeping the gifts," said Gage Navarre.

"We just want to be a part of the rebuilding process so we can look back one day and say we helped," said John Henry Ammons.

Gage and John Henry, like most of the kids at the party, grew up playing at Millennium Park. With more than $350,000 needed to rebuild it, the boys are glad to be doing their small part.

"I just thought that it would be a way to make the process go faster and to make it better and bigger than the last Millennium Park," said Ammons.

Proving it's never too early to learn civic responsibility, Gage's father hopes it will encourage others to join the effort to bring Millennium Park back.

"They are going to need everybody to help to raise the money to rebuild this new park but once you see the designs like I've seen - it's definitely going to be worth it," said Ryan Navarre, Gage's father.

Hoping to set an example, the boys say giving back never felt so good and can't wait for the new park to open.

"Giving up our birthday gifts is not hard at all because it's going to a good cause," said Gage.

"Hopefully I'm not too young to go play there again because I'm really looking forward to it," said Ammons.

The boys have some very generous friends. They managed to rake in $605.

Construction on the new park is set to begin some time later summer or early fall.

Meanwhile donations to the park can be made online at

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.