Safety Town improvements bring the Bulldog community together: dates and data from Olmsted
OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – The Bulldog spirit has once again arisen to help the youth in our community.
More than 30 sponsors and partners are bringing needed improvements to the community’s safe city. The “little town” teaching safety is located behind Olmsted Falls Town Hall. He is now in his second and final week for the summer.
The Olmsted Early Childhood PTA initiated the project which raised nearly $13,000 in cash sponsorships and over $3,000 in product donations. And the PTA did it in just five months.
“It was phenomenal,” said Ashley Oaken, who led the improvement project. “So many wonderful groups, businesses and people have come together in such solidarity. It was really overwhelming.
Ashley is OECPTA’s second vice president in charge of ways and means. She has been a member of the PTA for five years and has heard the praises – and some needs – of Safety Town. The small town’s “needs” included faded signage, deteriorated buildings, an area with no buildings, and minor repairs in need of improvement.
“The facility needed to be repaired,” she said. “We wanted to bring it to life.
Ashley did not have a Safety Town where she lived before moving to Olmsted Township. Over the years, she said she had questions about the facility and how to improve it, but it seemed like the timing wasn’t right. Carli Markiewitz became the president of the PTA and the position of second vice president was open. She asked Ashley to fill the position and, if she was still interested, to start a project to improve Safety Town.
Ashley learned that the school district owns the Safety Town property, but Olmsted Falls DARE Constable Bob and the town’s police department played a “big role” in coordinating some of the activities.
Officer Bob actually started Safety Town about 17 years ago. He said the space was a skateboard park, which the city ran, but there had been vandalism while he was there. The city’s parks and recreation board has agreed that he should turn it into Safety Town. Bob has a great background story. He said the traffic light was created by assembling others around the city. The service department painted the streets and sidewalks. The city kept it for a few years and it was then turned over to the school district. Over the years, Eagle Scouts and others have donated their talent and time to help maintain or create new buildings. However, its cash flow to maintain it is now at a bare minimum. That’s when the PTA stepped into the project.
PTA is responsible for the registration of Safety Town. Ashley, who is the executive director of Engage! Cleveland, a nonprofit organization, knew what to do. She created a sponsorship document and sent it to all organizations in the community and surrounding areas. She began to receive positive responses. Some said they couldn’t give money but offered services. She also met with school district officials who were willing to help and mentioned the Polaris Career Center which had a construction trades program. Polaris offered to help by bringing in two small houses that its students had already built and used for another program. They also improved some roofing, painting and masonry issues. The Polaris-OECPTA partnership will continue as it addresses other Safety Town needs.
The first person to respond to Ashley’s sponsorship letter was Caprina Gates, whose triplets attend Olmsted Falls High School. She is also a local real estate agent and sponsors an annual Coats for Kids campaign in the school district. Caprina was a single mother when her three children were eligible to participate in Safety Town. However, she couldn’t afford it. She never told anyone about it at the time. She said she felt others “needed it more.” She is now an active and successful married businesswoman, proud mother of her three Bulldog High Honor students and the title sponsor of Safety Town for Olmsted Falls.
“It was an absolute honor to support Olmsted Falls Safety Town as a presenting sponsor! My goal was to ensure that every child could experience the program and learn these essential skills before starting kindergarten,” Caprina said.
Fundraising enabled some of the buildings to be upgraded and a new sponsorship sign at this point. Companies that couldn’t donate money provided food for the youngster’s graduation ceremonies.
Constable Bob said Safety Town is an integral part of the community.
“It’s very important that our young children starting kindergarten know what to do, like crossing the street, bike safety, fire safety, stranger and gun safety,” he said. It is also very important for young children to be at Safety Town to prepare for school and kindergarten. And PTA is a huge help in everything they do from volunteering, planning, registering and ordering materials. It’s a year-round project. »
Safety Town, in which about 200 children have signed up this year, runs Monday through Friday for 2.5 hour sessions. The children participate in it for five days. The program offers two weeks to participate. Each has sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Ashley’s experience in a non-profit organization certainly contributed to the success of this project. She is grateful and grateful to everyone involved.
“It was an honor and a privilege to work with the entire community to secure over $15,000 in sponsorships or donations to renovate and improve Safety Town into a state-of-the-art experience. We had over 30 sponsors and partners who supported this,” she said. “It’s a great reflection of the Olmsted community.”
This type of project has once again proven that the Bulldog spirit is alive and well, even during the summer. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a reality.
souvenir from vietnam: The 3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Day of Remembrance is at 5:30 p.m. at the Village Green this Saturday (June 25). It begins with an opening prayer followed by the national anthem, pledge of allegiance, taps, bagpipes and a speech by a Vietnam veteran. The event is always moving to attend. Then you’re invited to cross the Charles A. Harding Pedestrian Bridge for hot dogs, refreshments, and music. The music will continue from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A good moment: Enjoy Rockin’ at the Rift from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday (June 25). The Rift – Repurposed & Intented For Today – features over 65 vendors. It is located on the Mill River Plaza.
This Saturday it will feature live bands, food and 10% off the entire store. Why not stop by, listen to music, grab some food and check out the amazing vendors in the store.
Shredding: The city is offering its free Community Shredding Day from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday (June 25) in front of Olmsted Falls City Hall. The address is 26100 Bagley Road, right next to Falls-Lenox Elementary School.
Downtown fun: The Falls Vintage Market returns during the summer months this Sunday (June 26). Enjoy vintage, antiques, arts, crafts, and some pretty cool items for sale, as well as live music and food trucks. It’s at Grand Pacific Junction and downtown Olmsted Falls.
Park Concert: The Olmsted Falls Parks and Recreation Board performs its first Sunday concert at 6 p.m. at East River Park, which is on Lewis Road, just north on the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks. The QS Jazz will play until 8 p.m. Be sure to bring a chair or blanket.
Clementine’s and the Grand Pacific Popcorn Company will provide food while you enjoy the outdoor concert. Oh, the concert is free.
Congratulations to Kampus: The following Baldwin Wallace University students have earned the Dean’s List.
They are Rob Berg, a major cybersecurity analyst; Logan Bratsch, pre-allied health/pre-physical therapy; Dominic Gentile, business administration; Alex Gibson, business administration; Maddie Hofmann, Pre-Allied Health/Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science; Cristina Honchuk, chemistry; Kat Hradek, psychology; Seth Johnson, business administration and finance; Logan Kaschak, economics; Caitlin Kilbane, story; Rachel Korba, Integrated Social Studies in Education and History of Adolescents and Young Adults; Josiah Lander, biology; Annie Lindley, National Security; Brianna Meredith, psychology; Lotanna Okoroafor, accountant; Emily Pechaitis, biology; Logan Schramm Schramm, sports management; Elizabeth Schultz, early childhood education; Simon Skoutas, political science; Esme Tapia, public health; Dan Wahl, Marketing and Lee Walters, Major in Human Resource Management.
The honor recognizes students who earn a 3.6 GPA or higher while enrolled in 12 or more hours during the semester.
Heritage Days: Jim Wallace appreciates those who want to be a part of Olmsted People’s Heritage Days August 4-7 which was featured in last week’s column.
The Bulldog Summer Bash will return to its Grace Church location to help celebrate this weekend. It will offer games, crafts, raffle baskets, face painting and other activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 6. More details on this event and others this weekend as they organize their activities.
Be sure to contact Jim at [email protected] for more details or to be part of the activities this weekend.
Information, please: To include news, information, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at [email protected]. She is also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The online version of the section on cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links to many news articles.