Several months ago, Calvert City collectively had a monument placed at the basketball courts to honor David Chumbler, who has been described as ‘the heart’ of the city. Recently, someone defaced that monument and while the investigation for the person(s) is ongoing, there’s a fundraiser tonight at Dairy Queen in Calvert City from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. The funds raised will go toward the $1,000 reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.
Neeta Hale, Calvert City Councilwoman, said she had several people contacting her wanting “to do something for David.” She said the city has the funds to cover the cost of the reward but this is a way for the community to be directly involved in the process. Any funds remaining will be dedicated to enhancing the area around David’s monument. She said they have already received a $500 donation from CFSB (Community Financial Services Bank) as well as pledges from private citizens.
But because she wants the night to be “all about David” and not about the vandalism, Hale is asking those in attendance to bring a greeting card for David, who is expected to attend the event with his mother, Sandra.
“I view it as a night of healing for our town and a chance to send a message that vandalism of our parks will not be tolerated by the community,” Hale said. “David is Calvert City. When you mess with David, you mess with all of us.”
Calvert City Mayor Lynn Jones said the investigation into who is responsible for the vandalism is ongoing and although there’s been progress, it’s not information that can be shared at this time.
Jones said the city council authorized the placement of the monument at the basketball courts but there were many, many people involved in making the project happen. He said the monument was placed at the entrance of the basketball courts where people would be confronted with it every time they walked in or out. He said the placement was appropriate because since around the late 70s or early 80s, nearly everyone walking into or out of the courts has been confronted by David himself, wanting to join a game of ball. Jones even recalled David as a younger man, dragging a baseball glove and bat across town to the baseball fields.
David’s mother, Sandra, said she and David, who will be 60 in July, moved to Calvert City 40 years ago and since that time, her son has “been a fixture” at the ball park. She said he also regularly visits the staff at the library to chat and cut up.
“You do not realize how many people have come up to me over the years and told me they used to play ball with him at the court,” she said. “He played with his friends, with my friends’ kids, and my friends now have grandkids playing with David at the ball court. I have a village to help and I’m so grateful; I can’t say enough about some of the people in Calvert City.”
Sandra said David is a “sports enthusiast,” with his interests not limited to basketball and baseball. She said he plays on the Special Olympics basketball team, which has won state the last three years in a row, and in 1996 had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch in St. Louis.
“He has a sport year round,” she laughed. “He can quote facts that are unreal."