Obetz Historians progressing with their preservation efforts

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By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

The Obetz Historians, a group seeking to preserve the town’s history, met for the third time and now has not one, but two new treasurers.

Becci Thacker-Dunn was elected treasurer in absentia at the group’s Nov. 9 meeting. The second treasurer, elected to act as a back-up to Thacker-Dunn, is Diane Brooker. Initially, the group thought both treasurers would be needed to sign checks and other financial documents the group might need, but then decided President Joyce Jones Blake could act as a signatory along with Thacker-Dunn.

The group also discussed where to house the historical artifacts the group is beginning to collect.

“My bedroom is getting full,” said Jones Blake.

The members thought potentially the historical artifacts could be housed at the Zion Lutheran Church, but someone heard something else might be going in there. They will make inquiries to get more information.

Another idea is to house Obetz’s historical artifacts in the city’s municipal building, “access to the building is through the garage, so it might not be ideal,” said Jones Blake.

The group is open to suggestions from the community as to where to store the artifacts.
Benson was told of a Christian publisher who might want to publish a book on Obetz’ history. The Obetz Historians envision a history book much like Groveport or Canal Winchester have. He made some inquiries and said he thinks it will cost between $1,500 and $2,000 if they go with the Christian publisher. The group is seeking someone to write the proposed book.

The group needs a source of funding for the historical book they hope to publish. The Big Walnut Area Community Improvement Corporation was discussed. The BWACIC is a 501(c)(3) non profit that provides support to are individuals and businesses to promote community improvement.

Benson said he approached the BWACIC when he was president of the Obetz Historical Society.

“They give money to local organizations for purposes of community improvement,” he said.
Bonnie Wiley said the BWACIC has officers and lawyers. They collect money from TIFs to fund community improvement.

Benson and Jones Blake will have a meeting with Obetz Administrator Rod Davisson, and Obetz Mayor Angela Kirk to see if the BWACIC would fund the project and also to provide information about buildings that could be used to house the historical artifacts they find and also copyright as it concerns Obetz.

Benson proposed conducting tours through the Zion Lutheran Church and charging people to go through as a way to raise funds for the project.

The Obetz Historians would also like to advertise for free at community events, like the Zucchinifest, to reduce the amount spent in advertising.

They hope to establish the Obetz Historians as a 501(c)(3). Jones has sent an email to the Secretary of State’s office to get information on how to do that.

The next meeting of the Obetz Historians will be Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Obetz Community Center, 1650 Obetz Road. Anyone interested in their projects is invited to attend.

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