As the new president of a civic organization meant to inspire community pride, Cait Masarik said she hopes residents will join her in continuing to support Make Gahanna Yours.
The 501(c)(3) group was founded in 2016 by Becky Kneeland to identify and implement projects that would promote the quality of life in Gahanna by beautifying the community and creating family-friendly volunteer opportunities.
After working with Make Gahanna Yours as a volunteer and serving as secretary for three years, Masarik said, she couldn't let the organization dissolve with Kneeland's retirement at the end of 2019.
"Becky Kneeland worked extremely hard to bring this organization to fruition a little more than four years ago," she said. "Her vision was to beautify our city and inspire community pride in Gahanna. As a lifelong resident, I loved that message and joined the group."
Kneeland said she looks forward to seeing the next generation's vision for Gahanna.
Masarik said the all-volunteer group brings beauty and pride to the community through its projects and events.
"This year will be no different," she said. "However, we will need to be innovative and evolve our projects and events to keep up in our new normal.
"I am excited to continue Becky's vision and help move this group forward," she said.
Masarik said the group had a lot of projects in the works, but adjustments are being made because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
She said the summer farmers market is expected to be held, and vendor applications are being accepted. Applications can be found at makegahannayours.com.
"We have about 25 vendors signed up so far," Masarik said.
She said many, if not all, of the indoor winter-market vendors have committed to the summer market.
The Crazy Cucumber, Carousel Watergardens Farm, Twin Oaks Farm, Florentine Legacy, TOF Apiaries, Pheasantview Family Farm, Ohio City Pasta and Gatehouse Blooms are some of the favorites returning for the summer.
Masarik said the market plans to set up at Veterans Memorial Park, 73 W. Johnstown Road, from 3 to 6 p.m. Sundays, June 7 through Sept. 27, with no market scheduled June 21.
"Our first priority is the health and safety of our community," Masarik said. "We will continue to take the advice of the city, state and federal government and update our events to comply with all current mandates and orders."
Masarik, a 2010 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate who has a degree in social work from Ohio State University, serves on the Gahanna Area Arts Council's board of directors.
"I have worked with several social-service agencies in Franklin County and have a deep understanding and passion for working within our community," Masarik said. "There are so many ways to make Gahanna yours, and we hope that our community will choose our group to help them do that."