Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project  



RE: Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project
CONTACT: Sue Douglass     

Date: July 11, 2007


The Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project announces a turn in a new and exciting direction. While the group is continuing to meet and stay active, it has recently dissolved its formal status. The  project will no longer be a  corporation , or hold 501c3 status. The name of the group will remain the same, its mission may expand, and its vitality will keep growing, as an informal organization.

“ We are alive and well”, states Sue Douglass, founder and chief officer.  “It is simply no longer necessary or expedient for us hold to corporate standards and 501c3 filings. The 1828 Blaine Bridge has been successfully rescued. We are happy and pleased to have been a key element in that endeavor. However, the site is now in good hands. We will continue to be available to those who want to keep the national treasure prominent.”

Though the project will drop the “ inc.” after its title, it remains true to its original mandate to be educational and informational. One of the first steps in doing that was the group’s gift of $2000 to the students in the Bridgeport School system for use in an educational activity trust fund, allowing for field trips to and activities at the Blaine location.  Members will be available to the school as resources and guidance in the school’s use of the 1828 Blaine Bridge and its site.

Additionally, the members hope to build a collection of local history stories, project scrapbooks, photo collections, and participate in tourism efforts. The website will operate as long as it can be funded.

Peg Baker remains as chair of the outstanding refreshment committee. While no longer needing elected officers, former officers , treasurer John Skoberne  and  secretary Tamara Shepherd,  will continue to participate in leadership roles. Sandy Henning Butch , first president , and Greg Zelenitz, past president, are also involved, as are committee leaders Larry Misencik, Gerry and Ron Zambori, and Vi Hanson, church liaison. Ed Slavik, Sr. has served as trustee, along with Jim Kacsmar and Judge Frank Fregiato. Kacsmar was also the accountant , and Fregiato handled the legal concerns, voluntarily providing essential professional support.

“Our connections to many people, as well as to our membership, have remained strong…and consistent. We are deeply grateful to all those who have provided services, help, and general support.  We do have our “family”  of regulars, and that is our heartbeat. That’s why we will stay together. We’d miss  visiting each other each month, and now we can embrace the full social aspects without the stresses of formal restrictions”, Douglass continued.

The group will continue to meet on the second Wednesday of each month, except December, in the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church , located on the Historic National Road in Blaine, Ohio. Meetings begin at 7 PM and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.

There are other parties interested in the 1828 Blaine Bridge who are meeting separately and informally about the site. As of now, there is no name to this new group, nor is it connected to the Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project.

When Douglass began the organization in 2001, it was best to become fully formal due to the uncertainty of how the project would develop and how  major funding would be secured. Those legal definitions came with specific conditions and responsibilities which are no longer necessary. When funding materialized outside of the group’s jurisdiction and mandate, the saving of the structure went to capable and competent officials  who directed the work and the finances. That combination of local and state agencies remains in charge of the structure and the site.

“ From the start, we were prepared for all eventualities. But we never had to handle the huge sums of money, or deal with large contracts, etc. for the actual restoration. Our funds did  go to information and education, keeping the group afloat, and anything we could do to keep the fires of interest burning. With the 1828 Bridge so beautifully saved, we can breathe and enjoy it now…and keep the legacy going and growing”, Douglass added.


For More Information Contact:

Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project


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