Parks board seeks help for summer concerts

The Salem Parks Commission is still working on finding help to keep the summer concert series going next year and wants volunteers to step forward.

Longtime Music in the Park coordinator Jack Yarnell recently stepped down from the unpaid volunteer job he did for the past 21 years, leaving the Salem Parks Commission to find someone to replace him, possibly a committee of people.

Anyone interested in serving should submit a letter of interest to Salem Parks Commission Chairman John Panezott at the Salem Parks Commission, 785 E. State St., Salem, Ohio 44460.

The free summer concert series takes place in the band shell at Waterworth Memorial Park, usually on Sunday nights, with donations used to cover the costs of the performers. Yarnell did everything himself, including scheduling the groups, soliciting funds, emceeing the concerts and coordinating the volunteers for the concerts.

In other business, the commission granted permission for the third annual Race for the ROC to be held Aug. 16, 2014 at Waterworth Memorial Park. Denise Weingart, a member of the ROC Board, told members that third Saturday in August seemed to work well this year. She also asked if they could use the band shell on June 14 for a contemporary Christian bands concert, but Parks Director Steve Faber said he needed to check the date first.

Faber said the Race for the ROC event, which is a 5K obstacle course race to raise money for the faith-based community youth center located on South Lundy Avenue, appeared to be a success again. Weingart didn’t have the final numbers for what was raised, but said this year more of the money came from the participants than the sponsors.

Faber also reported on the success of some other recent events in the parks, including the Eyes for Olivia Scrabble Run and Carnival for a Cure at Waterworth, the fishing derby held at the city lake on Gamble Road and the work on the Centennial Park playground by Emmanuel Lutheran and Holy Trinity Lutheran churches.

He said the Eyes for Olivia event was well-organized and he’s hoping they continue to do it, noting it’s for a good cause. Money raised was going for research through the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation.

He was impressed by how much better the playground looks after the efforts of the churches and volunteers who showed up on three different days. The parks department helped spread the new wood fiber material on the playground, with Faber noting it’s not mulch, but a specially made material for playgrounds.

Parks Foreman Jim Grimm said his crew has continued with normal maintenance at the parks, but they’re also servicing the leaf equipment in preparation for fall, painted the basketball backboards at Centennial, helped install a swinging bench at the city lake, and cut perennials back. They also helped set up for the Eyes for Olivia event.

Recreation Supervisor Shane Franks thanked Grimm and the maintenance crew for the work done on the ball fields for a recent church league tournament and for the fall softball league. He said he was happy with the turnout for the fishing tournament.

Both Panezott and commission vice chairman Terry Hoopes praised Franks’ efforts to try new programs to see what works, especially at the city lake where they wanted to increase usage and programming.

The next meeting will be 5 p.m. Oct. 23.