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Published: Wednesday, 5/19/2010

Woodville United Methodist Church sets goal of carillon's return for 150th year


WOODVILLE - Until a few years ago, village children knew that when the bells in Woodville United Methodist Church's carillon chimed at 5 p.m., it was time to go home for supper.

The church is trying to revive that tradition as part of its upcoming sesquicentennial, and officials hope residents throughout the community will contribute.

Church members hope to raise at least $25,000 to purchase a replacement carillon.

The church will be 150 years old in 2012. Fund-raising for the carillon has begun, with the goal of having a replacement in place for the sesquicentennial.

The carillon was used to call church members to worship, for weddings and funerals - and to mark the time children throughout the community should head home for supper, a beloved tradition among some.

"That was one of the reasons that it was decided we let the community know we were trying to restart this thing," said Wilma Obermyer, chairman of the church's sesquicentennial committee.

The late Hattie Keil donated funds to purchase the church's original carillon, which was acquired in 1962.

The bells were in service for decades until the carillon could not be repaired.

"They've been out of commission for at least the last five years," said Barbara Mauntler, a sesquicentennial committee member.

The type of carillon the church will buy depends on how much money can be raised.

A $25,000 model would be able to perform the same functions as the original carillon, Mrs. Obermyer said.

Anyone interested in donating money to the carillon fund can contact Woodville United Methodist Church, 419-849-2400.

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