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Print sale to benefit Ironton Port Authority funding

The Ironton Port Authority's sole mission is to help the community, but the community is stepping up to help the port authority.

The port authority is Ironton's volunteer-driven economic development entity that receives little funding from the city. In just a few months, the group has helped bring Aluminastic and Prestige Delivery Inc., to town while working with limited resources.

Enter Cristianne Murphy. The Ironton resident has had a paintbrush or pencil in her hand as long as she can remember. At Mayor John Elam's request, she donated her talent to help the port authority.

"Mayor Elam asked if we could find a local artist to donate a Memorial Day painting that we could make prints of and sell to raise money for the port authority," said Katrina Keith, the Mayor's secretary. "Ms. Murphy automatically came to mind. We are proud of our Memorial Day Parade and would like to see a yearly print to memorialize this event."

"I have seen Ms. Murphy's work. In fact, she painted a portrait of my children," Keith said. "Her beautiful paintings hang throughout the city."

Murphy painted a watercolor painting of the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade circa 1900.

Like many people, Murphy grew up here, but left. After living in Miami, she returned to her hometown and was blown away by the changes.

"I wanted to raise my kids in Ironton. But it was different here than when I moved away," she said. "All the businesses were gone. … We want to help our city. That is very important to me."

Ohio University Southern will help with the prints but only 100 prints will be produced, each signed and numbered. The 16-by-20 prints cost $100 and the 12-by-16 prints cost $60.

All the proceeds will go to the port authority. The print will be on display and for sale at the Tri-State Artistic Friends' Art Show May 27 through Memorial Day at the city center. To purchase in advance, call the mayor's office at (740) 532-3833.

As far as port authority vice chairman Rob Slagel is concerned, every dollar helps when you are on a tight budget.

"This could go a long way toward paying for some of our secretarial fees, the insurance and other incidental expenses that go along with having the port authority," he said. "We are all volunteers and are not looking for any salaries. For us to have some longevity we have to have some security."

Every penny they get will go towards the cause - bring jobs to Ironton, Slagel said.

"We have seen some successes and six or seven more are getting close. We have proved the port authority is for real and can make a difference in the town. But nothing is going to happen overnight but we are getting some real interest in some job creators."

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the IPA, send checks to Ironton Port Authority, P.O. Box 704, Ironton, Ohio 45638.