The Schiller statue will undergo what some caretakers consider a long-overdue restoration this week.
Work started Monday, Aug. 18, on the removal of the coating of the statue. The project should be completed by the end of the week, said Katharine Moore, chairwoman of Friends of Schiller Park.
The project gave Moore and several other volunteers a suitable segue to talk about their overall beautification efforts at the German Village Society Board of Trustees' monthly meeting Aug. 11.
Moore was joined by Ann Lilly, chairwoman of the Grace Highfield Garden and active member of Friends of Schiller Park; Carol Mullinax, president-elect of Actors' Theatre of Columbus and secretary of Friends of Schiller Park; Sara McNealey, chairwoman of the society's Parks, Public Spaces and Community Events committee; and Terri Leist, assistant director of recreation and parks.
In an unusual move, even by German Village standards, Moore passed out blindfolds to board members and asked them to imagine an austere neighborhood, depleted of colorful flower boxes lining South Third Street, the amphitheater for Actors' Theatre of Columbus and well-manicured parks, all courtesy of volunteers' elbow grease, the generosity of benefactors and some help from the city.
"The city will cut grass and occasionally trim trees," Moore said. "They provide cement picnic tables and can be persuaded to put in baseball diamonds. Almost 10 years ago, recreation and parks eliminated all flowers and plantings. Even City Hall has to come up with (its) own flower beds."
But it's more than aesthetics. Moore talked about events in the community, including the St. Mary Catholic Church homecoming, Garten Markt and the Village Singers annual Christmas concert as playing significant roles in the neighborhood.
"We encourage you not to take any of this for granted as you as develop plans and create strategy for the future," she said. "These successes required organizational support for the volunteer leadership, political will and civic engagement, and a sense of pride in community spaces, recreational programs and cultural initiatives."
Moore noted that a monument sign will be placed at the foot of the Schiller statue later this year, once the design is approved by the German Village Commission.
On a related note, Friends of Schiller will hold two fundraisers Oct. 10. One, which piggybacks on a successful event last year, is Kindred Spirits II, a bourbon tasting for men. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Nelson Heinrichs, 804 City Park Ave.
Admission is $75 and includes bourbon, cigars and a light offering of Southern food.
Because last year's event did not include women, Friends decided to hold something exclusively for the ladies, Moore said.
Martinis & Monograms will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Kitchen, 231 E. Livingston Ave.
Admission is $65 and includes martinis, appetizers and the opportunity to place orders for monogramed gifts -- linens, jewelry, stationery and such -- in time for the holidays.