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Friends of Ironton planning events

Friends of Ironton members are planning a meeting to get input on the future of key events that have made Ironton a warm-weather destination.

FOI will host a public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the meeting room at Austyn’s. FOI member Jodi Rowe-Collins said the purpose of the meeting is to get public input on three key issues:

the location for future events, the need for new volunteers who are willing to commit their time to these events and the need for financial commitment.

“Our events keep growing and growing. What we’re lacking is people to help. We’ve got people who work full-time jobs and its hard for them to do all that needs to be done,” Rowe-Collins said. “We need to find people who have time to help.”

FOI members have discussed

leasing a plot of land along Lawrence Street Road to use as an events park. This park would be used for such activities as Rally on the River.

Rowe-Collins said FOI members have been approached by groups in Ashland, Ky., who would like the Gus Macker event to move to their city and by groups in Huntington, W.Va., who want to see the Rally on the River moved to their city.

One event does have a secure future in Ironton, at least for the next few years.

Rowe-Collins said Monday that the new contract with the Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament organization will insure that event stays in Ironton through 2011.

“We’re tickled to death,” she said. “We had a wrap-up meeting about a month ago and everyone said ‘Yes, let’s go for it again.’

“And it has grown. The first year, we had 170 teams. The next year we had 222 teams and this year we had 274. It really has caught on. It’s a family event. I think that’s one thing people like. And it’s a competitive event. People can play and hoot and cheer. This seems to be a sports-minded area.”