The concerts made the public, the associations smile | News, Sports, Jobs



A SEASON BEHIND THEM – George Komar, left, and Jon Greiner recently reflected on the busy free concert series this summer is being hosted by the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization with support from the Ohio Arts Council and 14 local businesses and organizations. When the rain prevented the performances from being held at the Gazebo Commons, they were moved inside the adjacent First Presbyterian Church in Toronto with the cooperation of his congregation. – Warren Scott

TORONTO – The Toronto Coalition for Revitalization summer concert series brought smiles to many area residents while raising $ 1,650 for six local schools or non-profit groups.

The money came from donations received by spectators during intermissions and was distributed in the following amounts: City of Toronto schools for back-to-school needs and the Toronto Ohio Historical Society, $ 500 each; Toronto Elementary School Reading Program, $ 250; Toronto First Presbyterian Church, $ 200; and the Toronto Junior High School National Junior Honor Society and Cub Pack 41, $ 100 each.

Scouts helped Coalition volunteers collect donations while selling snacks and small items for $ 1 each during the performances.

The coalition was also assisted by members of the Toronto High School National Honor Society.

Jon Greiner, concert coordinator, said leaders and members of the First Presbyterian Church of Toronto graciously allowed concerts to be moved to this building when it rained.

Greiner noted a variety of factors affecting attendance at each concert and therefore, the amount of donations received at each.

He said the largest amount raised was $ 570 from the well-attended performance of the Ron Retzer Trio until the appearance of Jimmy Lee Hook and Sam Hudnell this year.

Then the coalition received $ 665 in donations, including $ 150 donated by Hook himself, said Greiner, who noted that the Toronto native doesn’t charge for his annual performances because he sees it as a way to give back to his hometown.

Now living in Cincinnati, Hook performed in a drive-by concert in the parking lot of Toronto Junior-Senior High School last year when the pandemic led the coalition to cancel their other shows.

Greiner and George Komar, chair of the coalition, also thanked the many companies whose contributions helped support the concerts and the Ohio Arts Council which, since 2018, has awarded them a total of $ 5,290 in grants.

Greiner said the state agency’s grant of $ 1,525 this year was about 25% of the band’s concert budget.

Commercial supporters of the concerts this year were: B&W Auto Repair, Cedar One Realty, Clarke Funeral Home, JE Foster Funeral Homes, Howard Hanna Real Estate, Iggy’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, LA Wargo Home Improvement, Nationwide Insurance agent Chris Arnott, Ridge Machine & Welding Co., Toni Moreland, State Farm Insurance Agent, Margaret’s Cafe, Toronto Beautification Committee, Cattrell Cos. Inc., Valley Converting and White Glove Supply.

Komar said that as Coalition Vice Chairman, Don Clarke has provided invaluable input during the planning of this season’s shows.

While the concert season is over, the coalition remains busy with other activities.

Komar noted that local artist Doug Griffith began painting the group’s last mural on the east wall of the Special Way convenience store on North Fourth Street.

The painting will feature 11 ovals depicting various aspects of the city, from the monument to soldiers and sailors of World War I on Third and Market streets to Kaul Clay Manufacturing, a former company that produced ceramic pipes and other products and employed many local residents.

The project is supported by local contributions.

Komar said he was pursuing another idea of ​​painting the sides of local buildings. He said he saw photos on social media of people posing in front of angel or butterfly wings and other objects, so they appear to complement the scene with their presence. He said people could be encouraged to research and photograph such paintings – which would be accompanied by the words “Toronto, Ohio” – and share the photos on social networks.

Komar said the paintings and photos could help draw attention to local businesses and other points of interest, and he plans to approach owners of buildings that might be included.

He noted that the project would be part of an ongoing effort to promote awareness of what has been called the Gem City.

Over the past few months, the group has posted on its website at and Facebook page directories listing more than 80 local businesses and about 18 churches in Toronto.

He also published “Buy local” banners along city streets and in Newburg Landing. The latter is aimed at boaters who dock there and notes that many businesses are within walking distance.

Komar said there are currently plans to host a Christmas lighting event at the Gazebo Commons again. Scheduled for November 23, it includes the lighting of candles sponsored by residents in memory of their loved ones.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Helping Hands Pantry, the Coats for Kids program at the Toronto Kiwanis Club, the Toys for Kids effort at Crossroads Church and the Toronto Salvation Army unit.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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