Colchester receives donation for Trooper Ellis park

Devon Greene, NEWS3 Reporter

COLCHESTER, Ill. (NEWS3) — The City of Colchester received a donation for the Trooper Gerald “Jerry” Ellis Memorial Park, from generous donors in the community.

Colchester residents Jon and Teri Lundgren presented a $2,700 check to the city during a council meeting Monday night. Jon said that money was the remaining funds from the nearly $6,000 donated overall.

“It’s special to drive by every day and see that,” Jon said. “For our small community, it’s tragic it has to be named after a person who was killed in the line of duty, but it’s a way to remember a local hero.”

Jon said several families and companies made donations for the park that was completed last summer. Illinois State Police District 14 held a park dedication service in September honoring Trooper Ellis.

Jon said the property was initially a vacant spot that was deteriorating. He said his family always wanted a park downtown that would be donated to the city, so this is a special way to pay tribute to one of Colchester’s own.

“We hope it inspires more of the community connection; that’s what it’s all about,” Jon said. “Our small communities are dying. We need to keep it together and not be forgotten.”

The donors hope the city will use the money to upkeep the park and add on to the property.

Trooper Ellis was from Colchester and a U.S. Army Veteran. He was an 11-year veteran of Illinois State Police, assigned to District 15 in Downers Grove. Trooper Ellis died last March in a car crash.