Children’s Memorial popular in first year


Last September, I wrote about the Children’s Memorial that Angela Ward and Vernon Donnelly have developed off Penn and Section streets in Springfield.

That’s the place where the bodies of two murdered girls — Phree Morrow and Martha Leech — were discovered in 1992. Ward said “we took the ugliest part of Springfield and made it beautiful.”

Since it opened to the public a year ago, Ward told me they “have found a need to open the park to anyone who has lost a child under the age of 18.”

About 25 mothers came the day after the dedication last year, and some said they didn’t want to go to the cemetery to mourn. She added “so many parents have come down to enjoy the 12,000 gallon pond or to mourn the loss of their own child. We have built a new wall with a water feature inside (with) room for up to 200 plaques. It will be open to anyone who has lost a child.”

Most of the work to convert the site from its previous abandoned and overgrown condition has been done and funded by Ward and Donnelly, who own the property.

They’ll be hosting an event on Saturday to raise money for the plaques that will be added to the new wall. Ward said the event “will include the largest garage sale (with) over 9,000 feet of space. There will (also) be rubber duck races with a professional announcer, a remote-controlled boat obstacle course, prizes, food and lots of fun.” It runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Children’s Memorial.

The site is also a wonderful place to visit if you’re interested in local history. Ward pointed out they have documentation that the property became Springfield’s first water source in 1818. Since then, she indicates it has been the site of The Springfield Brewery, a juice factory during Prohibition, The Citizens Dairy and later Meadow Gold Dairy. Wittenberg University owned the building before selling it to Strahler’s Food Warehouse.

The building that fronts Section Street dates back to 1927 and was re-built after a fire. On the rear structure, Ward has re-created the logos of The Springfield Brewery — which feature “Red Head Beer” and “Blue Head Beer” and the date 1837 — plus The Citizens Dairy. A re-created Meadow Gold Dairy logo is also planned.

In the meantime, Clark County is home to the only band in Ohio that will appear in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. To help fund their trip, the Kenton Ridge High School Marching Cougar Band is planning a 5K walk/run for Saturday, Aug. 11.

A release indicates “Band Director Jim Templeton has identified the need for an additional $40,000 to replace tubas and purchase drum heads (covers) required by Macy’s in order to be able to march.”

The 2012 Kenton Ridge Band Cougar Prowl starts at 9 a.m. Aug. 11 at Kenton Ridge High School Football Stadium, 4444 Middle Urbana Rd. The $20 registration can be made via speedy-feet.com, and those received by July 29 are guaranteed a T-shirt. All participants will receive a medal. The event is co-sponsored by Jim Twiggs All State Insurance.

Contact me at darryl.bauer@cmgohio.com


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