The Many Fairgrounds now has a grass volleyball court for folks to enjoy when they’re looking for some activities.
The Jaret J. Barrett Volleyball Court was made possible by the idea and generous donation of Jaret Barrett, a former resident of Many when he was a small child.
Barrett and his family moved to the Houston area in 1983, but he has never forgotten his small-town roots in all these years and returns often for visits with family, including his grandmother who still lives in Many.
Last year Barrett donated the money to build one of the basketball goals for the Leon James Park on Martin Luther King Drive. When that project was completed, he began to think of additional ways that he could provide more activities for young people who live in the town.
His idea was to build a volleyball court down at the Fairgrounds. Once former Mayor Ken Freeman found a location and gave his approval, Barrett began to shop for a professional grade volleyball net that would hold up for several years. He found one, purchased it, and had it shipped to the Town of Many at City Hall.
Next step was construction of heavy iron posts to attach the net so it could not be removed. Clauriste Byles of Byles Welding and Tractor generously donated the posts and supervised the installation of the posts into concrete so they would not lean or sway. City workers performed the actual installation.
Then Mayor Freeman ordered a sign naming the play area “Jaret J. Barrett Volleyball Court”. Freeman said Barrett deserved that recognition because Barrett devoted so much time and funding for the court as well as the basketball goal.
Barrett recently returned to Many and brought his parents to see the volleyball court for the first time and said he was pleased with what they saw.
His mother, Sandra Barrett Warren, and his father, Jerry J. Smith Sr., were happy to see the results of their son’s hard work.
Barrett finished high school in the Houston area and attended college on a basketball scholarship. After his college graduation, he played professional basketball, playing internationally in China and other countries. He then returned to the Houston area where he owns his successful pest control business and a power washing business as well.
He has always remembered his home town of Many and plans to continue finding projects in Many for the youth of the area.
“I have a good life,” Barrett said, “and I want to give back to my home town and its residents, especially young people. I’m not finished giving back to Many. There will be more to come.”
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