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Published: Wednesday, 5/29/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Donations help Tiffin keep pool operating

Festival aims to raise money for fireworks

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN — When city budget cuts threatened to drain the swimming pool and extinguish Tiffin’s Independence Day fireworks, residents of this Seneca County community rallied to try to save the summertime staples.

Groups, businesses, and individual donors raised nearly $30,000 to keep the pool open through a partnership with the Tiffin Community YMCA, and cover half the approximate $12,500 cost for patriotic pyrotechnics.

Organizers of the second Tiffin Music and Art Festival hope to raise the remaining amount needed for a fireworks show during the June 7-8 festival at Hedges-Boyer Park in Tiffin. It features more than 60 musical performances from bluegrass to heavy metal. Proceeds raised from a beer garden, silent auction, raffle, and other money makers will support fireworks and the city’s parks and recreation department, said festival co-founder Nathan Mullins.

“It’s important for every town in America to have a celebration on the Fourth of July,” he said. “When you really break it down it’s about community ... learning about your neighbors ... and just enjoying life. We didn’t want that to be taken away.”

Tiffin chopped nearly $750,000 from its 2013 budget in response to about $1 million in state funding cuts, said Mayor Aaron Montz. Casualties included reducing snow plowing; trimming administration, fire, and police department costs, and eliminating funding for the city swimming pool, he said.

Community members responded by raising money so the pool can open under YMCA operation on June 11. It will be open every day except Monday for 10 weeks instead of the usual 12.

“It’s such an important part of community life to have a pool that operates each summer,” said YMCA chief executive officer Steven Crone.

A fund-raising effort launched earlier this year and led by the Tiffin office of Real Living Generations Realty collected donations for the pool. Mr. Crone said user fees will cover much of the cost, but donations will help subsidize the pool this summer and carry over to the next season.

“YMCA was savior No. 1,” said Mr. Montz. “Now we just need to focus on the fireworks.”

Fireworks fans need to raise about $6,000 more by the end of June for the Fourth of July show to go on, he said. That’s where the music and art festival hopes to help.

The event, founded by two Terra State Community College students, runs from 9 p.m. to midnight on June 7. The next day starts with a 9 a.m. car show, followed by children’s activities at noon and live music throughout the day on four stages.

While there is no charge to enter, organizers ask attendees to bring canned goods or nonperishable items to benefit the Sharing Kitchen. Admission to the beer garden is $5 or is waived with a food donation.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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