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BANDON — Just off Highway 42 South sits a sanctuary for animals where, for the past two years, a pavilion and other buildings began popping up next door. The new Rose Walker Memorial Park is an addition to the Bandon Animal Rescue, built to fill a need the founders saw in the community.

“We have a lot of folks in wheelchairs who come see us,” said Lynette Lucas, co-founder of the Bandon Animal Rescue. “They like to go back there and we have people who want parties, actually already had one.”

The idea for the park, which will be ADA compliant once finished, came about when she suggested to her husband, Goodnight Lucas, how nice it would be to fix up the lot next to the rescue.

“He got busy,” she said. “He’s a craftsmen, very creative and good with his hands. He has the ability to imagine something and then make it happen.”

Goodnight Lucas, co-founder to the rescue, began moving items around the lot and saw that it looked nice, so he added to it. He went on to build a pavilion where his wife could sit and talk with people about animal care when they make adoptions, then went on to build a round pen for horses, a theater, a bench, and on to a small kitchen that they fondly call the “saloon,” though no alcohol will be served.

“He can see what he wants and then he just builds it,” Lynette Lucas said, adding that now he is working on finishing the kitchen, bathroom and boardwalk. “The boardwalk will allow anyone in a wheelchair to have access to the BBQ, kitchen, bathroom and pavilion. The work could take six months or less.”

Goodnight Lucas shows an area of the ADA compliant Rose Walker Memorial Park he's building at Bandon Animal Rescue.

To finish the project, it would cost around $4,000 and the rescue hopes to find help to finish the bathroom and kitchen areas.

“We would like to finish it up so we can have a dedication to who it’s named after,” Lucas said.

The Rose Walker Memorial Park is named after a woman from their childhood who served as a leader of sorts to the children in their neighborhood and took Goodnight Lucas in when he was just 11 years old after his mother died.

“It’s funny but Goodnight and I knew each other as children,” she said. “Then we found each other later in life.”

They went to grade school together in Coos County, both into horses and 4-H and shared a love of animals early on. However, they were separated when they were 11 years old when he went to Powers and life took her on to Eugene.

Lynette Lucas, co-founder of Bandon Animal Rescue feed a kitten Thursday at the rescue in Bandon. Lucas and her husband, Goodnight, opened the…

While in Eugene, she established the Shadow Ridge Ranch rescuing and rehabilitating horses. She trained them for endurance riders and also had her own dog kennel. However, after they both raised their own families and found themselves alone, life brought them back together.

“When everything ended for me in Eugene, I went in a hole of depression,” she remembered. “He and I reconnected and I came here. It was like coming home.”

She joined him in his love of rescuing animals, turning the unofficial animal rescue that had been around since 2001 into a registered nonprofit three years ago.

Since then, the rescue is known for more than just helping four-legged friends find a forever family. Starting last year, the rescue continues to bring supplies to the survivors from the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. The rescue also serves as a food pantry for families in need.

“We love helping people,” Lucas said as she sat next to kittens climbing over each other for her attention. “We just love helping.”

Goodnight Lucas shows one of several structures he built to accommodate the future ADA compliant Rose Walker Memorial Park at Bandon Animal Rescue.

To make monthly donations to the rescue, to help finish the park, or to volunteer for either project, call 541-366-1884 and ask for Lynette Lucas. Donations can also be sent to 88674 Highway 42 South in Bandon.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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