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Fundraisers, community supporting sprayground

As Memorial Day draws near, the Friends of Ironton sprayground project is well on its way to being completed.

The water playground is scheduled to have a grand opening just after the Memorial Day parade ends.

“It’s coming along,” Rick McKnight, vice president of the Friends, said. “We’ve got it graded.” Plumbers were scheduled to work on the site over the weekend.

Several community organizations and individuals have helped support the project.

The Ironton Eagles are planning a poker run fundraiser for May 22. The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the project.

“We would greatly appreciate your support for this worthwhile project for our kids in Ironton,” Jim Weber, secretary of the Eagles, wrote in a letter concerning the fundraiser.

The Friends of Ironton is conducting a brick fundraiser for the project. For a price, people can purchase bricks that will go into the sprayground and the walkway around it.

Eight-year-old Collin Freeman was among those who have donated to the park by purchasing a $100 brick.

Collin, who knows some of the Friends, is happy to have a spray park in the city, his grandmother said.

“He is so excited about the sprayground,” Cindy Haney said. “He can’t wait. He played in one in Columbus and this one is going to be so much better.”

The Friends have gotten some help from Ralph Kline, the assistant director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

The CAO contracts with the city for help with its downtown revitalization project. The sprayground project is a component of the larger project to revitalize the downtown, Kline said.

“Hopefully the community will continue to support them,” Kline said.

McKnight said the project will be worth the trouble when it is completed.

“It will give the kids somewhere to go,” he said. “There’s nowhere for them to go in town. If it keeps one kid out of trouble it’s worth the time and effort.

“I just ask the people of Ironton to get behind us and help us get it opened before Memorial Day. We need all the help we can get.”