Group discusses annual donation

SMITHFIELD – A $5,000 annual contribution from an anonymous donor recently was presented to the Friends of Smithfield Community Development Corp.

Evelyn Clouston, secretary, made the announcement at a quarterly meeting held at the village’s Presbyterian Church.

The funding is to be used only for mowing Northern Cemetery throughout the growing months, it was reported.

The community development group has been assisting the cemetery cleaning project for three years, it was noted.

Clouston said in research of the real estate taxes going to the village, that $3,587 would be collected for the year but it would come at two different times.

The FOS asked that each $700 mowing session by Woody Dunlap be paid half by council and half by the community development corporation. Paul Greene, cemetery board member, was to approach Village Council about it, and the group would like to get monthly itemized reports on money spent at the cemetery to keep on record as well.

Greene said that 12 or 15 fallen tombstones had been set back up and necessary pine trees were cut down last summer. He credited John Borkowski and Tony Phillippi for their work there and the scheduled “big mows” which brought out volunteers to help.

Linda Helt presided over the meeting. She reported Evelyn Folda Cauldwell, whose mother was Ruth Folda, a member of the mausoleum committee in the 1970-1980s, had a map of old cemetery plots that has been given to Shawn Ford. Greene said the board had a map of the old settler section and that it could be the same thing.

In the memorial section, the system of marking graves was not accurate in the past, according to Greene. He said the county engineer’s department would be called to establish guidelines on how and where to measure correctly.

Linda Kovach told members the former dilapidated Mortland Building could be removed by April. It is next door to the Smithfield Historical Society Museum building and there is danger of falling debris and vermin.

She noted the roof to the historical society building is in need of repairs and there is not enough money in the treasury to make it possible. The building is a museum and also offers a meeting and dining room.

The museum portion holds artifacts from the former high school. It holds some of the framed, graduating class headshot pictures; band uniforms; football equipment; school book and yearbooks going back to the late 1930s and other items.

Cindy Straus Grace said the historical society had been supportive when the FOS was organized by letting the members use their facilities for meetings and the FOS group wanted to help promote the need for roofing funds. It was suggested to put the leaking roof plight in the Keeping in Touch alumni newsletter to make former classmates aware of the problem.

Grace said a membership and fundraising project is necessary to bring money to the community development group. She said a data base is needed to solicit members in the spring drive. Dues are $25 for a year for one person; $100 for five years; and $1,000 for lifetime membership. Dues can be sent to the Friends of Smithfield, P.O. Box 73, Smithfield, OH 43948.

An election of officers was held with the following officers announced: Borkowski and Helt, co-presidents; Rich McElroy, vice president; Grace, secretary; and Clouston, secretary. Directors are Linda Kovach, Mayor Ted Boyd, honorary director; and Borkowski, who was named to replace Ron Long on the board.

The next meeting will be held at 11 a.m. on May 4 at a meeting place to be announced.