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Published: Wednesday, 8/4/2004

Perrysburg police to fund programs through brick sale

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Perrysburg Police Department is hoping to use engraved bricks to build a solid foundation.

The department is beginning a campaign that will sell walkway bricks at the new police station to raise money for the Perrysburg Police Foundation. The foundation provides money for police department programs, including drug education and self-defense classes.

"We're very early on with this fund-raiser, but we expect it to go well," police Chief Richard Gilts said.

The Perrysburg Police Foundation is selling bricks for $100 each. The bricks can be inscribed with two lines of text. For $250 each, donors can purchase a colored brick with three lines of text.

All the bricks will be placed on the walkway on the east side of the city's new police station. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled next week for the $6 million station on Walnut Street.

"The bricks are a way for people to help out and leave a lasting mark at the new station," Chief Gilts said.

The police department started the nonprofit Perrysburg Police Foundation shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The foundation managed the $960 donated by the community to help rescue efforts in New York City.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the foundation shifted its purpose to collecting donations to support the Perrysburg police. Residents have donated about $2,000 to the foundation to support Perrysburg police programs.

Money donated to the foundation is used to fund several initiatives, including classes on drug education, safety programs for children, and self-defense courses to help women avoid becoming victims of rape. The foundation also gives money to needy families of law enforcement personnel.

Another local group found its inscribed brick fund-raiser so successful that it is planning to launch a campaign next year.

The Fort Imagination Committee used a brick sale to raise $150,000 for new playground equipment at Woodlands Park. Volunteers put up the playground in 1997, and the committee's second brick sale two years later raised even more money for city park improvements.

The bricks purchased in both campaigns were placed in walkways around Woodlands Park.

"Now it's a whole new generation of kids out there, and we've had a lot of people requesting to buy bricks," committee member Lisa Richard said.

"We'll open it up for one final campaign."

The fund-raiser, which will not begin until the winter or spring, will collect money for playground equipment at Rivercrest Park.



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