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Friday, November 16, 2012 8:52 PM

Downtown mural project faces fundraising test

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer

After $2,000 in gifts and a grant, fundraisers have a clear picture of the work that lies ahead for the mural project at Edward E. Haley Community Park, Second and Main streets.

“We need to raise another $12,000,” Becci Shisler, Ottawa Main Street Association program director, said Thursday.

Ottawa artist Scott Braden has been commissioned by the association to paint a giant mural on the wall of the 205 S. Main St. building that defines the southern border of the park in Ottawa’s historic downtown. The project will cost $14,000 for materials and labor.

Braden submitted the winning drawing for the historic-themed mural, which depicts five iconic Ottawa elements: a Bennett ice wagon, the Forest Park front entrance, the old fire station, a vintage piece of Warner Manufacturing Co. machinery and the Zellner building, which once stood on the site of Haley Park. Each element will be painted on a panel, and the five panels will be attached to the side of the building to form the mural.

“We are paying Scott $1,500 per panel, and he will receive the balance once the project is completed,” Shisler said. “We have raised $2,000, and Scott has already started on the first panel. The good news is we had raised enough that he could get started. The focus now is on raising the additional money we need to complete the project.”

The first panel, of Forest Park, will be located nearest the downtown park’s gazebo and should be finished around the end of January, Shisler said.

The $2,000 the association has raised thus far includes a $1,000 matching grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, Shisler said. Other such organizations as the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Rotary Club are considering making donations, Shisler said she has been told. She is hopeful other organizations will lend a hand in funding the project, which she said will benefit the community.

Persons interested in making a donation to the project can call Shisler at (785) 242-2085, or stop by her office during business hours. The association’s office is located inside the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce building, 109 E. Second St., Ottawa.

Doug Carder is senior writer for The Herald. Email him at

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