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Toronto group seeks help with U.S. flags



PATRIOTIC SPIRIT — Volunteers with the Toronto Beautification Committee again are seeking donations to help them display U.S. flags along North Fourth, North Third and Trenton streets. The group also is behind flowers and landscaping at the city’s north and south entrances and the Gazebo Commons. — Warren Scott

TORONTO — Those who travel three major streets in the Gem City may have noticed something missing, and that’s the American flags that have flown above them for more than 20 years.

But members of the Toronto Beautification Committee want to assure everyone they will return soon, though the group is seeking help in replacing and maintaining them.

Each year, the volunteer group makes an appeal for monetary donations for the flags, noted Mary Beth Robertson, coordinator for the project, and this year is no different.

“People have been very supportive of this, and we are thankful for that,” said Robertson, who noted the placement of U.S. flags along North Fourth, North Third and Trenton streets became a concerted effort under former mayor Bob Wilson following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

With the help of the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization, donors are acknowledged on that group’s Facebook page and a display at the Toronto City Building.

Donations of $20 are requested, though all are appreciated and should be made payable to TBC and sent to Robertson at 905 N. Third St., Toronto, OH 43964.

It’s a busy time for the Toronto Beautification Committee, which also is taking orders for its annual geranium sale, which coincides with Mother’s Day.

The flowers are $4.50 each and are available in red, white, dark and light pink, salmon and coral, said Gail Komar, the group’s president.

Orders should be placed by May 1 by calling Ginny Buxton, who organizes the sale, at (740) 537-4332, and can be picked up on May 1 in the lot across from Valley Converting on North Fourth Street.

Komar said proceeds from the sale support efforts by the group to plant flowers, landscape and otherwise decorate the city’s north entrance at Franklin Street, south exit at North Fourth Street and the Gazebo Commons on North Third Street.

Decorated in garland and lights for Christmas and with red, white and blue bunting for the summer, the gazebo serves as the stage for the community concerts organized by the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization.

Those who have passed the north and south entrances may have noticed their large pipe planters, which are a nod to Kaul Clay, a former business that employed many area residents.

Students from Toronto High School often have aided members in beautifying those areas.

The Toronto Beautification Committee’s efforts also are supported with the labor of city crews and a yearly allocation of city funds by Toronto City Council.

Established in 1984, the group has lost members to death and illness through the years and recently made an appeal for new ones.

Robertson said the group was happy to welcome nine new members at a recent meeting and invites others to join them.

The group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of April, May, June and October at the City Building while focusing its time in other months to its beautification efforts.

(Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that former Toronto Mayor Bob Wilson has not died.)

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