PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth Parks and Recreation Committee is one step closer to their goal of acquiring two handicapped-accessible swings to install in one of the city parks.
PPR held a Spring Craft Bazaar at the American Legion James Dickey Post 23 in Portsmouth. The event attracted a great crowd and vendors with compelling items for sale.
Kismett Bratchett, chairman of the Spring Craft Bazaar planning committee, said all monies collected from the Spring Bazaar will be allocated towards the purchase of two hadicapped swings for two the city parks.
“This is our Craft Bazaar, and we are trying to raise money for our handicapped swings. We are trying to get two for the city for kids that are in wheelchairs,” Bratchett said. “We just try to raise as much money as we can each time. We are a non-profit organization now, so any donation is a tax write-off for everybody, and accept donations anytime.”
To date, PPR has raise approximately $1,500 for the swings, with a deficit of $2,500.
“The swings are about $2,000 a piece, and we are trying to get two,” Bratchett said. “We hope that we be able to raise the money for both of the swings, but even if we can only get one for this year, then we will work on raising money for the other one next next year.”
The two parks that PPR is looking to install the swings are Mound Park and Tracy Park, according to Bratchett.
Rich Saddler of PPR said they had a good turn out for Saturday’s Bazaar, with a larger crowd than usual.
“We did fairly well today. We had more people coming in, in the afternoon. I’d say it has been an above average day,” Saddler said. “We really don’t put goals on our activities, we just plan, organize and do it. We’re just competing with so many other things going on that we are just thankful for any and every dollar that we receive that we can put towards doing something in our parks.”
“With the Arbor Day event that we have coming up on the 23rd we will be doing the vendor there as well, and Portsmouth Ambulance will be doing the cooking, and we will be working in conjunction with them,” Saddler said. “All of the proceeds go to Parks and Recreation. We are tax exempt now, and have our 501c3.”
Saddler said understanding how funds are prioritized by Portsmouth City Government is imperative, in terms of how it impacts funding for the city parks.
“When I was on the Council our City Manager Derek Allen stated that he has to prioritize his tax dollars. His priority list was first public safety, public health, your services like your roads, and waterlines, and fourth is anything else, the Engineering Department, City Parks,” Saddler said. “Even though we had a tax increase, and we will start receiving some of that tax money at the end of this year, there is still not really enough tax money coming in to really put a big boost into our park system,” Saddler said. “And that is the word that we are really trying to relay to people. They have to understand how the city is prioritizing their money, and they are doing it in the correct manner, those things are more important than for the parks. We just want to support the city, and assist them in making improvements and upgrades, or just maintenance in our city parks.”
Donations may be made online to the Portsmouth Parks and Recreation PayPal account, or by mail to: Portsmouth Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 1844, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT,