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Donations sought for Granger Township bicentennial celebration in 2020

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GRANGER TWP. — Party planners hoping to pack 200 years of Granger Township existence into a three-day bicentennial celebration set to take place in June 2020 are looking for donations to fund the festivities.

Bicentennial committee co-chair Roberta Gifford, 74, said the township needs the community’s help if it is going have the proposed three-day list of festivities.

“We are soliciting donations, basically we are looking for individuals, businesses, or just anybody who loves Granger Township and wants to be a part of it,” Gifford said Monday.

Celebrations are slated for Friday to Sunday, June 26-28, and include a host of activities for all ages.

Gifford said the bicentennial steering committee is proposing to kick off the event Friday with a theater production detailing Granger Township history, “Our Town Granger,” followed by a 200th birthday celebration complete with cake.

Saturday plans include a parade, food truck lunch and a variety of games and musical performances.

“(The grand parade) will be open to anybody who wants to bring any kind of a float or entry,” Gifford said.

The committee is also hopeful to award parade grand marshal honors to the individual who has lived in Granger Township the longest.

The Granger Township Fire Department is also slated to host a community dinner Saturday, with the evening capped off by a fireworks display, Gifford said.

“Sunday, we hope to have a community worship service, and a potluck lunch afterwards,” she said. “That will be our weekend.”

Trustee Teri Berry said Tuesday that the bicentennial committee approached the board of trustees about having a role in the upcoming celebrations.

“It is really getting rolling now. I think they approached us in October or November,” Berry said. “After the first of the year, they started having meetings and having more of a framework together.”

Berry said all three trustees have sat in on at least one bicentennial committee meeting, and they have plans to participate in the celebration.

“We are just kind of letting them get all of their facts together first and then we will discuss how best the township can participate to help,” she said.

Trustee Richard Pace said the possibility of the township contributing funds to the bicentennial celebrations was discussed early on during the planning process. However, it has been decided that only private donations will fund the festivities.

“I think all parties felt it best that we raise the donations,” Pace said Tuesday.

Pace said the bicentennial committee is hoping to raise $20,000.

“That should allow plenty of money to celebrate the three-day weekend,” he said.

Granger Township Historical Society President Bob Hummel, 81, said the township of just more than 4,500 residents can trace its origins back to land that was a part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.

“In 1795, Connecticut sold this land to a group of investors called the Connecticut Land Company,” Hummel said Tuesday. “There were 36 investors all together and the members of this company drew lots to determine which pieces of land that they would own.”

After initially being purchased by Judge Oliver Phelps of New York, the land was eventually sold to Gideon Granger in 1811 before being sold again in 1817 to four families from Ohio.

“All four of them began selling parcels in 1818,” he said. “The township itself was organized in 1820.”

“That’s how we became official,” Hummel added.

Berry said she thinks a celebration of the Granger Township bicentennial is a great idea for the community.

“I really think it is a great idea to pull the community together to celebrate our history, our past and our present and look to the future,” she said.

For information about donating or volunteering for the bicentennial weekend, contact Roberta Gifford at (330) 239-2169 or rgifford62@roadrunner.com.

Checks can be made payable to Granger Township/Attention Bicentennial and mailed to the Granger Township Administration Building, 3717 Ridge Road, Medina, OH 44256.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.
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