BARLOW - Residents who frequent the Barlow Fairgrounds will soon have the opportunity to enjoy an archway built in memory of their loved ones.
A wrought iron memorial arch spanning 15 feet with eight foot tall columns is being erected at the walking track at the fairgrounds. The arch will be engraved with the phrase "Honoring our loved ones past and present."
The project was created and organized by Susie Ashley, who is also the founder of the Barlow Area Christmas in the Village and the annual Christmas parade.
"The initial funding for the base of the arch was provided by a generous entrepreneur in the community," Ashley said. "Now we are working with the Belpre Area Community Development Foundation to finish the project."
The entrepreneur asked to remain anonymous and for the amount of money donated to remain undisclosed.
James McCauley has been on the board of governors of the Belpre Area Community Development Foundation since it was founded in 1990.
When he was contacted about helping construct the memorial arch he said he knew it was something the fund should support.
"We generally don't receive a great deal of requests for projects and the purpose of this foundation is to serve the area, not just the city of Belpre," McCauley said. "Our organization is providing a vehicle so that donations and funds are available for this project in a tax deductible manner."
To enhance the memorial arch, the public is able to purchase engraved bricks to be placed around the columns. Each brick will sell for $50 and can hold up to three lines of 14 characters.
The money from the brick purchases will be go directly into the construction costs of the memorial arch.
"We still need to raise about $10,000 for the project so our goal is to sell around 200 bricks," Ashley said. "This is a chance to honor our veterans as well as loved ones from both the past and present."
The bricks are being made by Firefly Hollow, based in Little Hocking.
"They are a local business and I've had nothing but positive experiences with them in past projects," Ashley said.
While funds for the project will be generated mostly by brick sales, those interested in donating can do so through the Belpre Area Community Development Foundation.
"Our goal is to have this completed by Sept. 5 so if you do donate, just make sure that you designate that the money is for the "A Walk To Remember" project," Ashley said.
Ashley and her husband Roger have lived in the area for 35 years and plan to continue to be active in enriching Barlow.
"This is an area we deeply care about and this memorial arch is an opportunity to give back to it," she said.
For more information regarding the project or to place a brick order, call (740) 678-8278.