Vlasman’s Cruisin’ for a Trigger occasion raises cash for accessible playground, persevering with mission of giving

So he decided to donate the proceeds of his annual cruisin ‘for a cause car show and auction event on Saturday to the Kiwanis Club’s plan to build an inclusive, accessible playground on Lake Mitchell.

“It breaks me to know that some children cannot play in a playground. I thought the Kiwanis Club project was an incredible project this year as it will create a park for the kids who need it to play, ”said Vlasman as he handed out trophies to the top performers at Saturday’s auto show Thirsty.

The facilities of the barrier-free playground include a swing raft and a seesaw as well as a music area and a swing bench, all of which are accessible to people with disabilities. To meet playground accessibility standards, a concrete path would extend from the sidewalk into the playground and the woodchip surface would allow wheelchair and other bicycle transport devices to navigate the playground.

According to the designs, the playground would be built alongside the existing swing and play area in the center of Kiwanis Woodlot Park to encourage a more inclusive environment in the area. The $ 64,000 playground is part of Mitchell’s Kiwanis Club’s 100th anniversary. While the club is already raising money to complete the project by 2022, Vlasman’s auto show and auction will give a nice boost to the playground’s construction.

Each year, Vlasman selects a local or regional nonprofit or community member facing health problems to donate the proceeds of its annual auto shows. This year, however, the plan for a barrier-free playground emerged as a “meaningful and effective” community project that he wanted to contribute to making it a reality.

“Every child needs a playground to play with. Playing outside with friends is so important to youth as it is where some of the best childhood memories are made, ”said Vlasman. “We will use the proceeds from our event to buy some of the play equipment that you need for this playground.”

The Cruisin ‘for a Cause Auto Show and Auction on Saturday was the eighth annual event to be held in August. The event brings in more than $ 7,000-10,000, along with related donations from other local organizations that campaigned behind Vlasman’s community-oriented events.

While the auto show – which includes a silent auction, darts tournaments, games, and live music – draws large crowds each year, Vlasman hosts other similar events in the community and surrounding towns with the same mission of supporting good causes and organizations .

In recent years, his auto and motorcycle shows have helped bring over 30 beds to the Mitchell Area Safehouse and support a child receiving a critical kidney transplant, to name a few of the good causes he supports.

“Every year we find the people and organizations who need help most in their work. We helped a three year old boy who needed money for a kidney transplant, helped the SafeHouse remodel his living room, bought him new mattresses, ”said Vlasman.

Cruisin ‘for a Cause was founded about a decade ago to help disadvantaged families and those with basic necessities and to raise awareness about the prevention of flu and H1N1, also known as swine flu, after Vlasman’s near-death experience of swine flu from whom he fell Miraculously recovered in 2014. As Vlasman’s organization has grown over the years, it has transformed into a variety of good charitable causes.

Although Vlasman’s Cruisin ‘for a Cause has evolved over the years, its mission remains the same: to help those who need it most and to help the groups that share the same mission.

“That’s what this organization is about,” he said. “I’m so proud of the community support that Cruisin ‘for a Cause has received, and it shows that we all want to make the community a better place by helping those who need it most.”

He is again in Boston! Gronk returns to donate cash for playground renovation

He’s back in Boston! Gronk returns to donate money to renovate the playground

Updated: 2:54 p.m. EDT May 7, 2021

Hide transcript Show transcript

All right, thank you brother. First off, thank you all for being here today for supporting this great governor’s baker in the playground. That was the hospital I was in when I broke my forearm and it got infected. I just don’t know how it got infected. I was in Vegas and hit my brother on a broken forearm when I was 22. I do not know what happened. I was, I was in the hospital for a week and I kept looking down, all the way down to them, and seeing those baseball fields the whole time. Now that’s something very special, not being in the playground. That’s right next to the hospital. I was out for a week but it was an exciting year for me to finally see the playground project start up. No matter where I go or where I live, I will always have a special connection with New England and the people who have lived here over the years. The Grant Nation Youth Foundation has given many equipment grants to schools and programs across New England by always imagining doing something bigger and worse. I came up with this idea about a year and a half ago and brought it to the attention of Susan Hurley, who helps me run the Grant Nation Youth Foundation. Together, with the help of Susan and Michael Nichols from the Esplanade, we’re exploring some places in the Massachusetts Association. We found this place right here where we get up Susan, and I even went on a playground tour with Sandy from DCR. I am so grateful to be standing here on property today that I realized that there is something special about everyone in Boston and everyone who comes to visit. It’s the perfect place because this is where the duck boats come in and out of the Charles River and you know I love duck boats. Who knows? Maybe we also have a duck boat in the playground. I don’t understand why not. Yes. Oh, there is one. Three. I know these duck boats. I fell out almost 10 times. I’ve been hanging out, hey, it’s your fault for throwing those parades. Yes. The concept of this playground is to motivate children to be outdoors, get fit and have fun. I hope this playground inspires the next generation of athletes on behalf of my family and the foundation. There are many people we would like to thank Governor Baker. Many Thanks. Secretary of the Energy and Environment Agency Katie. Theo hurts. Thanks Katie. You know, I’ve been working on my English skills. Yes. DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery and staff members Jenny Norwood and Sandy Libby. Senator Celle, Di Domenico. Hey, I’m on fire right now. And Representative J Livingstone Espionage Association Boarding Staff. Especially Michael Nichols and Alison McCray, thank you guys without them. I met him about 20 months ago, I don’t know, and they were so on board with Michael and the entire espionage group and they just couldn’t be better working with. So for real esplanade association. Many thanks for everything. A wonderful job. Job. Well done. The name of John Hancock for her years. Grunt Nation Youth Foundation support from the Boston Marathon, Rob Friedman Tom Cohen and Ashley Wheeler. I would also like to thank all of my runners who have run the Boston Marathon and all other races. They helped raise most of that money for this playground. That just goes to show how great the Boston Marathon itself is. And very personal. Thanks to my team, which also includes my family, my brother protects here. Uh, thanks. Guard All of my other brothers will be released immediately. They are not here. So thank you Gord. I have Bobby Goons, Bobby Goons in the house. He pays the 10-year support fee for cleaning the playground. Thank you for this post, Camille who didn’t make it here today, Amanda who helps a lot. We’re going to get the playground out of social media and the Susan charity teams who helped put this all together with the espionage association. I would also like to thank the new English patriots, especially Mr. Kraft and my coaches and teammates. The patriots taught me the importance of giving back on the first day. Um, I joined this organization. So a big thank you to Mr. Kraft and the patriots for building that into me and showing me how important it is to give something back. And they still do a great job to this day. Yes. And most of all, I’d like to thank the amazing New England fans. I am humble and honored to have the opportunity to be part of this amazing community and in this way to give back for generations to come. Thank you all for being here and this playground will be amazing when all is said and done in another year. Thank you for your support and for everyone to be here. Thank you guys. What’s this? I’ll be in the playground. That’s true. Oh, I have to thank Ralphie. Yeah, Ralph, he’s a cute guy. He’ll be safe in the playground. And I’ll be in the playground too. I’ll go down the slide for a year, so Rob has to do a short presentation. We printed two copies so that at least one could go home with the Commonwealth. I’m not going to decide who gets it, but that’s what I’m talking about. $ 1.2 million, baby, Happy Gilmore type tests. Mmm. Mmm.

He’s back in Boston! Gronk returns to donate money to renovate the playground

Updated: 2:54 p.m. EDT May 7, 2021

Rob Gronkowski returned to New England on Friday for a special reason. The former New England Patriots star made a $ 1.2 million donation to the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation for a complete renovation of Charlesbank Playground on the Charles River Reservation Esplanade. The generous donation was printed on an equally large check, which he jokingly referred to as the “Happy Gilmore Check”. “No matter where I go or where I live, I will always have a special connection with New England and the people who live here.” “said Gronk, who said he had been planning the donation for more than 18 months. Charlesbank Playground is the oldest of the three along the Esplanade. The Department of Conservation and Recreation said the money will be used to modernize the playground.” and bring more accessible equipment. “It’s the perfect place because this is where the duck boats get on and off the Charles River and you know I love duck boats. “Gronk joked. Gronk said his concept for the playground was to motivate kids to get outside, get fit and have fun.” I hope this playground inspires the next generation of athletes, “he said. Gronk thanked them a long list of government officials, foundation employees and others who contributed to the donation also took a moment to thank his former crew. “I would also like to thank the New England Patriots, especially Mr. (Robert) Kraft and my coaches and teammates. The Patriots taught me the importance of giving back the first day I joined this organization, “he said.” So a big thank you to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots for making that inside me have built in. ”

Rob Gronkowski returned to New England on Friday for a special reason.

The former New England Patriots star made a $ 1.2 million donation to the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation for a complete renovation of Charlesbank Playground on the Charles River Reservation Esplanade.

The generous donation was printed on an equally large check, which he jokingly referred to as the “Happy Gilmore Check”.

“No matter where I go or where I live, I will always have a special connection with New England and the people who live here,” said Gronk, who said he had been planning the donation for more than 18 months.

The Charlesbank playground is the oldest of the three along the esplanade. The Ministry of Conservation and Recreation said the money will be used to upgrade the playground and bring more accessible equipment.

“It’s the perfect place because this is where the duck boats get on and off the Charles River and you know I love duck boats,” joked Gronk.

Gronk said his concept for the playground is to motivate kids to get outside, get fit, and have fun.

“I hope this playground inspires the next generation of athletes,” he said.

Gronk thanked a long list of state officials, foundation staff, and others who contributed to the donation, but also took a moment to thank his former team.

“I would also like to thank the New England Patriots, especially Mr. (Robert) Kraft and my coaches and teammates. The Patriots taught me the importance of the first day I joined this organization, to give something back, “he said. “So, a big thank you to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots for building that into me.”

Playground, new Ford F-550: How native communities spend federal cash for COVID-19 reduction

(WKBN) – A playground, surveillance equipment and new vehicles — those were just a few of the purchases made by local communities with federal funding they received through the CARES Act.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security money was distributed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to communities across the U.S. for expenditures that popped up during the public health crisis.

“It was largely based on per capita allocation. There were some other factors like poverty, school districts… but the real limiting factor was what the money was used for,” said Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.

WKBN 27 First News began requesting documents from local communities at the beginning of February and received them through March of this year for last year’s round of CARES Act funding.

While most of the money given to communities covered the purchases of items like personal protective equipment and sanitizing spray, some communities were creative with their use of funds.

The purchase of surveillance cameras at Brookfield Park, for example, led to disagreement among trustees about whether the funds were being properly used.


Cameras for contact tracing in the park? Brookfield trustees disagree on use of funding

Trustee Ron Haun touted the purchase for the purposes of contact tracing. He said the cameras would provide another tool to the health department to help track down infection, as the park is used by multiple people and sports teams.

“If somebody gets the virus, and we have a breakout because of some events happening at our park, we’ll be able to go back and review that to inform others in case they were in contact with it and help inform our health department,” Haun said.

Trustee Dan Suttles, however, was against the purchase and questioned the legality of adding lights to the camera poles as well as using other funds for the lighting.

In the end, the cameras were installed. During their March meeting, the lighting purchase was reexamined and eventually passed with the other trustees’ approval.

Brookfield wasn’t the only community to spend the funds this way. West Farmington also noted in its purchase orders that $5,000 was spent at Hudson Communications for cameras for park surveillance of social distancing. Newton Township also spent over $8,000 on security cameras in the administration building for the purpose of assisting in contact tracing.

Kris Wilster, of the Trumbull County Health Department, said on March 31 that the health department had received no calls regarding contact tracing from any local communities. He said there hadn’t been many complaints, in general, regarding COVID-19 exposure and contact-tracing efforts.

He said if contact tracing was needed, the cameras may be helpful but that a need hadn’t come up.

Green Township also gave $8,500 to the South Range school district toward the purchase of cameras, though those cameras were used to detect masks and read temperatures. The cameras projected to a flat-screen television, which would be observed by a nurse as the students arrived, according to Fiscal Officer Randy Chismar.

Faber said he held over 40 video conferences with more than 500 elected officials in Ohio, talking about what they could and couldn’t do with CARES Act funds.

“We were very open,” Faber said. “Ask us if you think this could be a COVID or CARES Act-related expenditure and we’ll give you our best guidance. We really hope people did that to try and avoid problems later on.”

Still, he’s seen some interesting spending requests among some communities in the state.

“We had one township that asked us if they could rehab all of their parks with CARES Act money. When you push it to the logical extreme, you can make an argument that people were going to spend more time outside so you probably need to build new shelter houses and that kind of stuff with it, but that’s pretty far of an extension. I asked the question to township officials ‘Under that logic, are you going to repave all of your roads because people need to drive from their house to the park?’” Faber said.

His office recently started the auditing process and anticipates finding communities that pushed the envelope too far.

When it comes to spending on security cameras, Faber said he can see both sides of the argument. He said it was generally OK for local governments to spend their funds on public safety.

“But that doesn’t mean go out and replace all of your cruisers and or all your fire trucks necessarily. You had to be relatively judicial,” Faber said.

Some communities did purchase new vehicles with their CARES funding, many citing a need among first responders who deal with the pandemic daily.

Hanover, Vienna and Warren townships spent money on vehicles for first responders. Southington spent just over $40,000 for a pick-up truck to keep employees socially distanced. West Township spent $39,500 on a dump truck and noted a $500 downpayment on a truck in their CARES documents.

Braceville Township spent over $127,000 on vehicles to “separate employees.”

Mesopotamia purchased a new plow truck to “eliminate the sharing of vehicles” and to “promote social distancing.” The township reasoned that this would cut down on operational downtime due to sanitizing the vehicles or an employee’s sickness.

Weathersfield Township spent $333,917 on a rescue truck, pick-up truck and dump truck, according to the itemized list that was provided to WKBN. And Newton Township spent $48,585 for a 2020 Ford F550 outfitted with over $39,000 in accessories, including a dump body and plow, for the road department “to allow social distancing for employee work required COVID-19 protection.”

Warren Township also spent $5,880 on two Tasers for the police department, citing an increase in call volume during the pandemic and a need to eliminate the sharing of the devices.

Also among some of the more uncommon purchases, Leetonia spent over $46,000 on a playground, as well as $4,464 on outdoor tables for the park.

Leetonia Mayor Kevin Siembida said they focused on purchasing items that could be used by village residents for years to come.

“We didn’t need thousands of dollars in Clorox wipes,” he said, adding, “We wanted something that could be used long-term.”

Siembida said the old playground was an aging wooden one, and the new one will be easier to sanitize, as it is stainless steel. The purchase of the playground and outdoor tables was to get people out of the house during the lockdown in a socially-distanced way, he said.


Leetonia auctioning off old playground to make way for new one; new pocket park finished

Siembida said he wasn’t concerned that the purchases were inappropriate as he didn’t get any pushback from the state.

Gustavus Township also invested in its park, spending $2,274 on six new poly benches engraved with the township’s name and six new picnic tables, costing $2,214.

How local communities spent their money

The village of Leetonia also purchased a digital sign for $48,280 in order to get messages, especially those about COVID-19, out in a more effective manner.

Boardman Township also spent money on messaging. Administrator Jason Loree explained a $15,000 invoice that was sent from “All Traffic Solutions” for a “radar message sign” and related purchases as being used for vaccination-related messaging.

“The speed trailers also act as mobile messaging. As it can just be used in that capacity, we purchased two of them. It has electronic signage similar to what the county sheriff uses. We are going to be working with the mall and using them when the old Dillard’s building becomes a vaccination site to direct people [where] to go,” he explained via email in February.

Vienna Township spent $2,000 on a gazebo roof. According to Fiscal Officer Linda McCullough, this purchase was for social-distancing purposes. The churches were permitted to use it for outside services, and it was leaking. 

McCullough said, as with all of the township’s purchases, the township received the opinion of their attorney before making any CARES-related purchase as to whether it was an acceptable use of funds.

Elkrun Township spent $4,377 to remove old carpeting. Purchases were also made to upgrade a furnace and install new flooring, though those hadn’t been billed yet at the time of WKBN’s request.

Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner said the upgrades were made to the township’s meeting area, and they were for “air freshening purposes” for better air quality in the public meeting area.

One thing that appeared to be common in the invoices is a need to shift toward a virtual work environment, with many communities purchasing items like laptops and iPads for their employees. 

Mahoning County spent over $628,000 on improving telework capabilities for public employees. That included the purchases of laptops, video conferencing systems and technology expansion and access. 

Trumbull County also made the purchase of several laptops and iPads, as well as video-conferencing software.


Construction of new vaccine building at Trumbull Co. Fairgrounds hits roadblock

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda said a primary focus for their CARES Act funds, however, was to help local businesses and food banks.

“I think we had five food banks that we gave $100,000 to,” Fuda said. “We were fortunate to receive that money… Small businesses, they’ve really been affected by this virus and what we were able to do for them is phenomenal.”

Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said the county spent its funds to help local businesses and people in the Valley who need it.

“It’s unbelievable what this Valley has experienced through this pandemic,” Rimedio-Righetti said.

She commended state officials as the next round of funding is in the early planning period for distribution.

“This is a start and hopefully this little bit their giving everyone will help the economy… and get somewhat back to normal,” she said.


Youngstown council approves using COVID money to pay back water dept. funds

Faber said he was glad to see many counties in the state spend their funds this way.

“I am impressed by how many local governments across Ohio chose to not just take the money for government operations, but rather to put that money back into the citizens and try to get the money where it was needed,” Faber said.

There were other qualifications for CARES Act funds as well. The money couldn’t have been budgeted in March when the pandemic was approaching.

“Otherwise, it wouldn’t be COVID-related if you’re just supplementing what you already budgeted,” Faber said.

Also, the money originally had to be completely expended by the end of 2020. The deadline has since been extended until December 2021, but it was too late for some communities.

“For a lot of local governments that rushed to get their money spent because we weren’t sure what was going to happen, that knowledge would have been much better earlier,” Faber said.

For other communities, the callback dates were pushing up against the federal extension, meaning they had to return some of their funds.

Craig Beach received a total of $47,356 but had to return $25,000 from that funding to the county due to not using it by the December deadline. West Township also returned $3,821 in unused funds, and Unity Township returned almost $46,688.

Faber explained that unused money was essentially clawed back to the counties and then back to the state. He’s waiting on some guidance from the federal government on what will happen to that unused funding, but he expects some equalization to happen during the next round of funds.

“What we’re really encouraging local governments to do is two things: where you can, get the money back to your citizens, your taxpayers in your community. Don’t just find new ways to spend government money,” he said.

Faber said that does appear to be happening locally, as most local governments appear to be fiscally-responsible with their spending.

“The second thing we’re cautioning people not to do is don’t let your CARES Act one-time funds get mixed into your operation budget, because once that happens, you start getting into a structural imbalance to where the new revenues when the new CARES Act or the one-time monies go away, you don’t have the money to pay for your ongoing stable operation,” he added.

There is a process for making sure the funding is spent appropriately, but Faber acknowledged that there are challenges.

“There is so much money coming into this, we know that there is going to be enhanced difficulty in our ability to track of all those monies. We’re seeing it in the unemployment comp system, which is just absolutely ripe with fraudulent claims,” he said.

He recommended that if people have concerns or questions, that they go to ohioauditor.gov to file a complaint or inquiry.

Canine and goat serving as mayor increase cash for a playground

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. (AP) – A goat and dog, each elected mayor, helped raise money to renovate a playground in Vermont.

The strange idea of ​​holding mayoral elections to raise money for the renovation of the playground and to get the local children involved came from a local city administrator.

In 2018, the residents of Fair Haven elected Lincoln to goat as honorary mayor. Lincoln helped raise about $ 10,000 while current Mayor Murfee, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, raised $ 20,000, Town Manager Joe Gunter told the Rutland Herald. The city brought in another $ 20,000.

Murfee’s owner, Linda Barker, said when she was persuaded to include Murfee in politics, she thought it was easy to raise money through t-shirts. Then the pandemic struck.

So she switched to masks. She made nearly 1,000 of them and will be doing another round of them for Valentine’s Day. She raised more than $ 5,000 from the masks and a similar amount from basket raffles.

The city recently received a $ 50,000 grant from the Federal Fund for Land and Water Conservation, she said.

Ironically, the honorary mayor is not welcome on the playground. Barker said there is a “no dogs allowed” sign.

“Murfee will take on the city,” Barker said with a chuckle on Sunday. “He’ll deny that.”

Latest stories

Close modally

Suggest a correction