Perrysburg Heights center tries to survive
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 14 June 2013 08:29
LIME CITY - The Perrysburg Heights Community Association is continuing its fight to keep its community center open after the finances have taken a downward turn.
PHCA Executive Director Stephanie Serda spoke before a meeting of Perrysburg Township officials Wednesday afternoon.
They are "really trying to turn up our fundraising efforts to keep the community center open and going," she said.
The PHCA's board of directors voted May 20 to cut paid staff and suspend the operations at the center, 12282 Jefferson St., indefinitely, but changed its mind following an emergency meeting May 28, deciding instead to rescind the vote and try to raise more funds.
A "Save Our Center" cookout was held Friday, and a car wash is to be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marco's Pizza in Perrysburg. The PHCA will also be holding weekly flea markets each Friday. Summer programming for children is still taking place.
Speaking to officials, Serda noted that the 19th annual Ohio's South of the Border Festival, held near the center, is upcoming on Aug. 10. The PHCA board is planning to present a resolution to the township to renew its permit to sell beer at the event. Issuing a resolution for the matter is new; in previous years a simple request has been made of the township.
"Our real money-maker (at the festival) is our beer sales," said Serda.
When asked, Township Police Chief Mark Hetrick said that there have been no out-of-the-ordinary issues at the festival associated with alcohol.
The center can cost upwards of $130,000 to run annually. Much of the PHCA's annual budget is derived from the festival, which has fluctuated financially.
The organization formed in 1991 and offers a number of programs for Heights residents. A satellite clinic of the Wood County Health Department moved to the center in March.
Township Administrator Walt Celley asked Serda about the state of the PHCA organization. Citing the vote in May, he said, "there appears to be some upheaval on your board of trustees."
Serda indicated that the PHCA's annual meeting is June 24, when changes in board members are a possibility.
"At least we're at that time of year," she said.
The group is "just trying to stay above water."
"It's scary. The non-profit world is not the most stable area. As far as the community goes, I've been impressed to see families" provide assistance.
"It looks like they're ready to fight for the community center to stay open."