By Portia Williams
Portsmouth Parks and Recreation’s (PPR) Pancakes with Santa and Craft Bazaar held at the American Legion James Dickey Post 23 on Saturday offered fun, food, and specialty items to purchase from local vendors.
Rich Saddler, president of PPR, said the goal with funds raised from the event is to purchase handicapped accessible swings for children for two of the city parks.
The event was hosted by Rich Saddler, Kismet Brachett, Jane Saddler, Paul Penix, Sammie Ishmael, Amy Saddler, Amy Hartlage-Partlow, Diane Ratliff, Mary Quincy Holmes and other volunteers.
“This is a fundraiser to help support our local parks and help to make improvements and to purchase necessary items for the parks,” Saddler said. “At our last meeting we talked about getting some handicapped swings to put into a couple of the parks, we don’t have anything right now to accommodate children that are in wheelchairs. We thought that would be a nice endeavor to move forward with.”
The swings that Saddler has seen during the course of his research are ones that are heavy duty.
“We are not exactly sure right now of the total cost, we have been doing some research, and the cheapest that I have come across is $3,500, of which they are very heavy duty, and they of course are not your typical swing, there is an actual platform that the wheelchair would go on, so it is a heavy duty piece of equipment,” he said.
Though they did not have as many vendors as they’d hoped for, he said the fundraiser was a success.
“Things are going very well with this fundraiser today, we are kind of low on some of the vendors, but there are a couple of other events that are going on right now around the county as well,” he said. “But, overall, I think that we have had a good turnout of children, who came out to see Santa, and of course he made his special trip in from the North Pole. We’ve had about 10 or 12 volunteers here today to help out, and we’re just trying to get the pancakes out. We have also just acquired our 501c4 tax accreditation through the Federal Government, so we will be tax exempt, so if anybody would like to make donations.”
Donations made by mail should be mailed to: Portsmouth Parks and Recreation, P.O. 1844, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662, or visit the Portsmouth Parks and Recreation PayPal link, or visit the Portsmouth Parks and Recreation Facebook page.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.