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Thriving Families makes progress toward beautification

BY Emily Rachelle Russell - erussell@chronicle-tribune.com

The Quality of Life and Place branch of Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County is making progress on their Fifth Street Commons downtown beautification project.

The project’s Patronicity fundraiser seeks to raise $27,000 by Sept. 14 in order to receive the CreatINg Places matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. According to Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County Executive Director Cathy Weatherspoon, the Marion Rotary Club recently donated $1,053 to the fundraiser, $1,000 of which came from an anonymous Rotary member.

At Quality of Life and Place’s meeting this Wednesday, co-chair Kellie Engelman went over the details of new promotional postcards designed by Halstead’s Architects with photos and an artistic aerial depiction of the space.

One hope of the group is to partner with the four dance studios in downtown Marion. According to Engelman, a connection has already been made with Playhouse Studio of Dance.

On July 18, the Affordable Housing and Community Development Corporation partnered with teenage volunteers from Indiana Wesleyan University’s Momentum Youth Conference to clean up the Fifth Street Commons space, cutting down low-hanging tree branches and clearing out poison ivy.

Local businesses are also pitching in to support the fundraiser. Throughout the month of August, specific restaurants in Marion are donating a percentage of certain nights’ proceeds to the Patronicity fundraiser.

On Aug. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m., volunteers can help clean tables at Moe’s Southwest Grill, and a portion of the night’s profits will be donated. IHOP will donate on Aug. 24 from 1 to 8 p.m. for any customer who requests their purchase be included in the Thriving Families fundraiser. Fazoli’s will do the same on Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Community members can donate directly to the project at www.patronicity.com/5thstreet.