HOLMDEL, NJ - Expect more bark at Bayonet Farm, as in 'dog bark'! A new dog park was approved by the Township Committee on Tuesday of this week. The inspiration behind the project is Holmdel's beloved Alex Ching, a highly respected young man, who bravely battled pediatric cancer from the age of 7. Ching sadly succumbed to the illness at age 24. This month is pediatric cancer awareness month, making the approval of the memorial timely. According to Ching's family he found great joy in visiting dog parks. Alex Ching's joy for life will continue to be shared, as countless happy memories will be made in a park he inspired.
The fenced dog park is set to be built on the farm formerly owned by Laura Harding. Harding was a gracious donor of property to Holmdel years ago. It will be called 'Alex's Paw Park' and was inspired by the family of the late Alexander Ching.
The project is said to be fully funded through private donations, fundraisers and volunteers.
According to the Township Administrator Cherron Roundtree. "The location is near the existing gravel parking area in front of the two barns closer to the road side. The family that has proposed the park has raised a significant amount of money. Believe it or not things as simple as double fencing get into the tens of thousands of dollars - they are also seeking some physical donations." said Roundtree. "Even the fill (dirt) on the ground cost significant money so all the amenities are not outlined but it will start with the basics such as providing water, having the fenced in areas, getting the dog bags to clean up after your dog and as they raise additional funds there will be additional amenities that fit within the nature of the park. They looked at big tree trunks that the dogs can jump on." said Roundtree.
According to the resolution, in November 2019, the family of the late Alexander Ching (see more info below about Alex) approached the Township with the request to pay tribute to Alex’s memory by constructing a dog park in Holmdel Township. The Township gave preliminary approval to have the dog park built at Bayonet Farms located at 41 Middletown Road, and the Ching family has provided the Township with conceptual plans. The Township Administrator and Township Director of Infrastructure were directed to plan the park accordingly and the Township Committee 'extended their condolences to the Ching family for their loss and gratitude for their generous and thoughtful donation.'
Below is more information about Alex Ching from the obituary published by TAPinto in 2018. Alex is remembered and missed by so many: Early Christmas morning, on December 25, 2018, Alexander Eng Ching, 24, of Holmdel peacefully slipped into eternal rest at home, with his loving family by his side, after heroically fighting his cancer diagnosis for 17 years. Alex was born on May 19, 1994 in Red Bank, NJ. He is survived by his parents Lisa and Michael; sister Maddie; brother Ethan; paternal grandparents, Yau Chau and Siu Ching; maternal grandparents, William and Dorothy Keeley; uncles and aunts, Joseph and Kathy, Billy and Laura, Jim and Fran, Doug and Angie; and cousins Christopher, Benjamin, Patrick, Leigh, Maggie, Brady, Bryn, Megan and Brent.
Alex was first diagnosed when he 7 years old. There were very few people who knew that Alex went to bat with this disease through the rest of his life. That was because he never let it define him. Not only incredibly bright and generous, he had a creative side that led to dabbling in photography, painting, drawing, and rapping. In middle-school, he joined the cross-country team and continued to play basketball, hockey, tennis, and flag football all while undergoing treatment. He excelled in school, became an EMT with the Holmdel First Aid Squad, and served as the Student Advisory Board President for Holmdel High School Class of 2012. During graduation, he delivered a “classic Alex” speech, opening with a joke: the punchline was that he was the smartest, funniest and best looking guy in his class.
At the end of his senior year, it looked like Alex would have to delay going to college to focus on his health. But not missing a beat, he was there for freshman orientation at his dream school, Duke University! He loved his ATO fraternity brothers and every minute of his Blue Devil experience (including setting up a full size hot tub in his frat house dining room). Alex studied Mechanical Engineering, but decided to pursue a career in finance instead. To boost his resume, he studied for the CFA (Charter Financial Analyst), self-taught himself the material, and passed Level I, a test with less than a 40% pass rate. In 2016 he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and accepted a job with Raymond James & Associates in Tampa, Florida.
Alex moved to Tampa in June and joked that he was going to live in the Bay area. He loved his work and quickly formed friendships with his fellow RJ associates. However, only two short months later, Alex relocated to the New York area to start yet another round of treatment. He absolutely loved living in the city, in his Kips Bay apartment, even though it did not allow corgis (much to his mother’s relief). He continued to work for Raymond James in the NY office, and most recently was promoted to Senior Equity Research Associate.
Alex lived every day, every moment, to the fullest. He never complained about the hand he was dealt. All who knew him know this. Everything was always “fine”, even when it wasn’t. Over the past two years, he skied at Solitude Mountain in Utah, traveled to Notre Dame to visit his brother at school, went to Houston to visit his friend (to which he said the humidity felt like being in a NYC subway), rented a drop-top Camaro and drove up the California coast with his best friend, drove an ATV through the Aruba landscape with his family, walked over a mile down Broad Street to soak in the celebration after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, traveled to Colombia with two of his best friends, sat front row at a Drake concert at Madison Square Garden and saw Federer play in the US Open with his dad and grandfather. Last week, he talked about going to the Catskills with his friends for New Years.
Alex was truly an inspiring son, brother, grandson, nephew, colleague, and friend. "We will never forget the lessons he taught us about perseverance, resilience, and the power of a positive outlook. He will be missed beyond words, but will always remain in our hearts. Forever."
Alex pictured below loved dogs. As a child fighting cancer he found joy in the therapy dogs, and he had a family dog growing up. When he was living and working in NYC, he was often too sick to take on the responsibility of having his own dog, but he loved to visit the dog parks in NYC. The picture below is of Alex visiting the dog park in NYC to enjoy watching the dogs who visited.