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Medina

Foundation helps rebuild Ray Mellert Park pavilion in Medina

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    The pavilion at Ray Mellert Park in Medina has had several renovations, courtesy of the Willard Stephenson Foundation.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — The pavilion at Ray Mellert Park has received a much-needed facelift.

Medina City Council passed a resolution recently to accept an $11,800 donation from the Willard Stephenson Foundation to renovate the pavilion.

The project is almost complete, said City Parks Director Jansen Wehrley.

He said the pavilion’s roof was replaced, tongue-and-groove ceiling tiles were added to the interior and vinyl siding on the exterior.

“It was in dire need of repair,” Wehrley said.

He said he had a conversation with Rick Stephenson, foundation chairman, about a year ago about some possible projects in the community.

The pavilion’s repairs weren’t in the parks department’s budget.

“We decided on the pavilion at Ray Mellert Park,” Wehrley said. “It’s in a low- to moderate-income area. Rick is aware of the needs of the community. It just so happens it was a project they were interested in. It came to fruition. It was a generous donation that stayed in the community.”

Ray Mellert Park, on Huntington Street, has two baseball fields. The pavilion is used by Let’s Make a Difference, a nonprofit summer program headed by Michelle Powell and Carol Andregg.

There also are neighborhood block parties in the pavilion and it occasionally is rented for birthday parties.

Wehrley said the city has been fortunate over the years to receive generous donations. Murray and Sue Van Epp donated the fountain in the Bicentennial Commons on Public Square.

The Breakfast Kiwanis Club funded the concession stand at Memorial Pool with $10,000 and the Medina Sunrise Rotary Club will donate $7,300 to help refurbish the pavilion at Reagan Park.

The Stephenson Foundation is carrying on the name of the late Willard Stephenson, who owned Medina Hardware. Willard was a World War II Army lieutenant.

“They’ve contributed to a number of city projects,” Jansen said.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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