Sharon Heights basks in Neighborhood Pride
Nancy Stewart (left) of Clintonville helps to serve fellow resident Mary Butler (center) as resident Bill Whittington moves down the line during the neighborhood cookout Friday, July 27, at North Baptist Church. The cookout was the culmination of Neighborhood Pride Week in Sharon Heights. Buy This Photo
During last week's Neighborhood Pride event in the Sharon Heights area of Clintonville, city workers collected 15.4 tons of bulk trash.
"What's going on with that?" Mayor Michael B. Coleman wondered aloud during his July 26 Community Night meeting with residents at North Baptist Church on Charleston Avenue, dubbed the Pride Center.
Also during Pride Week, which concluded Friday, July 27, with a neighborhood cookout at the church, 175 trash receptacles were replaced. Additional efforts got 75 potholes filled, 13 streetlights fixed, 75 trees trimmed and 165 fire hydrants painted.
"Your dogs ought to be happy with that," Coleman quipped.
Code enforcement officers went door to door in the area that includes all of the Clintonville Area Commission's District 9 and a small portion of District 8. A neighborhood cleanup collected 330 pounds of litter, but that's not too impressive, Coleman said. He said some Pride areas have seen 10 times that amount picked up.
More than 350 people dropped by the church to have a free lunch during the July 23-27 event that condensed the services an area would receive from the city in the course of a year into those five days.
"That's a big number," Coleman said of the free lunches.
In addition, 57 adults and children received safety instruction from a police officer and a firefighter, and about 40 people of all ages accompanied Coleman on a community bike ride July 25.
The Clintonville neighborhood was the 75th to receive the Pride treatment since Coleman inaugurated the program shortly after taking office in 2000.
It is the largest neighborhood-based program in the state, according to Pride Coordinator Bruce T. Black. The Sharon Heights area is the third of four neighborhoods to receive the Pride treatment this year, out of 17 that applied, Black said.
"Looking at the attendance tonight, I think we've done a real good job of connecting," he added prior to the mayor's comments.
Black thanked the Rev. Cyrus A. Broughton and the members of North Baptist Church for serving as the Pride Center.
"It's been our pleasure as a church, as a congregation in this neighborhood, to provide a sacred place for the neighborhood to meet," Broughton said before offering a prayer on Community Night.
"It's been excellent, absolutely excellent," CAC District 9 representative D Searcy said as she greeted those arriving at North Baptist Church for the Community Night meeting.
"It's been a very exciting week," said Black.
About 20 people showed up for lunch on opening day, he added. By July 25, that figure had swelled to 150 participants, Black said.
"We've had really good responses from the businesses," Searcy said.
Of the 75 businesses he contacted seeking donations for Pride Week, Black said about half agreed to become official partners. He said many of those he visited with were "in recovery mode" following the June 29 storm that caused widespread power outages throughout most of central Ohio.
Coleman wasn't accepting any excuses.
In fairly blunt remarks, he urged residents to patronize those businesses in the area that served as Neighborhood Pride partners.
"You need to support them," Coleman said as a list of businesses was shown on a screen.
The mayor advised people to do just the opposite with those enterprises that declined to participate.
"Those who said no to you, you say no to them," Coleman said. "If a company isn't on this list, they're thumbing their nose at you."