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Fountain facelift: Community members work to add art to the park

By Brenna Wiegand

Few will deny the fountain in Coolidge McClaine Park is a tad rundown.

The current Ford Family Foundation Leadership program cohort aims to change that. The group’s leadership training culminates by carrying out a public service project. The class targeted the fountain. The foundation will match $5,000 to get the project started.

“This project will enhance the overall beauty of the fountain with mosaic art guided by professional artist Lynn Takata who did the large mosaic at the Salem YMCA,” class member Laurie Boyce said. “Once completed, the fountain will become a lovely and lively place for residents to gather in the hottest days of summer.”

During the Great Depression, the city of Silverton added a special attraction to the Coolidge McClaine Park: a simple wading pool for smaller kids to splash around in while older siblings played in the creek. With the building of the swimming pool, the creek was used less – and the wading pool fell into neglect.

It was nursed along during the tenure of Lee Martin Rumely, a local-born city of Silverton employee who took special pride in the city’s infrastructure, including providing TLC for the old fountain.

In 1988 when his life was tragically cut short at 32, the city and his friends erected a memorial plaque and repurposed the wading pool into the Leo Martin Rumely III Memorial Fountain. Now Ford group members have connected with his family, and they, too, are excited about the project.

“The collaborative process, including kids, can result in aesthetically strong artwork and a source of community pride,” artist Lynn Takata said. “Silverton has such a rich tradition of public art. The beauty of mosaics is that someone can spend two hours making a small piece that will be integrated into the design. Ours will include flora, fauna and images of the East Valley.”

How to lend a hand with the project

It’s going to take a team to get the fountain project completed. Here’s how you can help:

Labor: Transporting stuff; pressure washing, making phone calls. Contact: Cindi Bates, [email protected].

Supplies: Lots of items are needed. Visit website at www.communityfountainmosaic.com to learn what’s on the list.

Create: Make mosaic pieces; workshops will be held 1-3 p.m. June 18 and 25 at the Silverton Senior Center: 503-873-3093. Or attend a “Art in the Park” session for making and/or installing mosaics at Coolidge McClaine. There’s a five-day session July 20-24. 1 – 3 p.m.

Donations: Make a donation or host a fund-raiser. Email [email protected] for information or send a tax deductible contributions to: Community Fountain Mosaic c/o Jerald D. Steffen, CPA, 502 N First St., Silverton, OR 97381.

Upcoming events: Silverton Mayor Rick Lewis will speak at the fund raising campaign kick-off Sunday, June 21, 2:30 p.m. during the Silverton Hills Strawberry Festival in the park.

Seven Brides Brewing is donating 10 percent of food sales on June 28 and Aug. 9 to the fountain’s beautification; from 4-8 p.m. on both days. A silent auction will be held.

Watch: the website www.communityfountainmosaic.com for workshop times, supplies needed and other updates.

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