VAN WERT — The 2017 Van Wert County Leadership Class is nearing its
completion, but the product of the class is just getting started.
class chose to build a shelter house at the location of the former
Washington Elementary building at 839 Prospect Ave. The location which
is a bus stop for Van Wert City Schools is currently an open grassy
area. The shelter house will provide a safe place for students as they
wait at the location for buses and it will also offer storage for Van
Wert Youth Football which has been using the open space for practices.
“We want to make [this open space] be utilized even more,” Kendra Goodlin, a member of the Leadership Class, said.
ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Wednesday morning to thank
sponsors who stepped up to fund the $15,000 project, but the actual
building process will not begin until after school ends for the year.
The plan is to begin in June and have the building completed by mid-July
before football practices and tryouts begin.
“It’s a pretty
straight forward project, it’s a pretty simple building,” Blaine Dennis,
a member of the 2017 Leadership Class, said.
The class members
sold personalized 4-inch-by-8-inch bricks and 8-inch-by-8-inch pavers to
members and businesses in the community to raise funds for the shelter
“We’re really excited for this,” Goodlin said. “We have, to date, just over $14,000 raised which we think is pretty great.”
Any shortfall on costs will be helped by Van Wert City Schools and Van Wert Youth Football.
gave $3,500, Van Wert Service Club contributed $2,000 and Avangrid
Renewables added $1,000 to the donations. The rest of the $14,000 that
has been raised came from selling the bricks and pavers.
“The community came in and put a lot of money into it,” Dennis said. “The response was great.”
Van Wert Service Club’s donation is also going to help purchase a
recycled plastic bench that will be all weather-proof for students to
use as well.
“This year’s class has set the bar for fund raising,” Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Susan Munroe said.
“I just can’t express how proud I am of this year’s class, for your dedication and your work,” she said to the class.
figure out through a process what kind of project they’re going to do
and why they’re going to do it and they just all came together and
exceeded their goal.”
“I believe in this program so much,” Munroe
said. “These are the leaders of our community tomorrow and beyond that.
They seem to have this great desire to see our community grow, prosper
and thrive and I think that’s evident in the work that they’ve done in