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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

New benches in store for park

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recently the Brazil High School class of 1962 donated a new bench to the Brazil City Parks Board to be used at the Forest Park band shell. Those on hand for the donation included (front, from left) Parks Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries, Class of 1962 representative George Kumpf, (back) Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Raymond Staub, Parks Board Vice President Todd Brackman, Parks Board Secretary Caroline McCullough, Parks Board Treasurer Linda Messmer, Class of 1962 representative Connie McClure and Supt. of Parks Bill Houck. Kumpf is currently spearheading an organization to replace the benches at the band shell. [Order this photo]
* Former resident spearheads movement for new seating

One former resident is trying to improve seating at the Forest Park band shell with the memory of his parents in mind.

"My family was always involved with the band," George Kumpf said. "My father (Carl) directed the Jackson Township Community Band for many years and after his passing, my mother would still go to listen to the Brazil Concert Band at the band shell."

The idea began as a donation for a park bench in honor of his parents. However, that idea began to blossom and Kumpf decided to go bigger.

In August, Kumpf and Connie McClure went to the Brazil City Parks Board meeting and pitched the idea to the board.

"I started looking at a lot of benches," he said. "I wanted to make sure they would be good benches that could last."

With the full support of the board behind him, Kumpf started researching.

The two main points of criteria were they had to be comfortable and maintenance free. The current benches are not comfortable and need to be replaced every few years. After sitting on numerous benches and comparing cost to weathering, Kumpf found a winner.

"In New Albany (Ind.) these benches have been sitting outside in the weather for eight years," he said. "I talked to the people in charge of them and they have never had any problems with them."

The benches will run approximately $500 each, which includes up to 18 characters on the top board and they are made out of recyclable plastic.

"I'm hoping that family members of past band members will look into purchasing a bench together," he said. "With the holiday season coming up and everyone beginning to look into possible gift ideas, I hope they think of this as something special to memorialize a loved one."

Hoping the benches will receive many years of service and serve as a memorial for those no longer able to enjoy the concerts, Kumpf is eager to have the first 100 benches installed before the first concert at the band shell in May.

"This is really great for the park," Brazil Parks Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries told The Brazil Times. "It's wonderful. They look great and they are very comfortable to sit on."

Though Kumpf no longer lives in Brazil, he still believes in the value of the band shell to the area.

"The park is an unbelievable asset to the community and the band shell is a great thing to have," he said. "This is really deserving for the community."

For more information on purchasing a bench, contact Kumpf at gkumpf@aol.com.

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That is a great idea. If I was sure the Class of '62 wouldn't mind, I'd encourage the Class of '69 to participate.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Sat, Oct 24, 2009, at 11:33 AM

Thats great, until some rotten teenagers vandalize them.

-- Posted by NorthviewGirl on Sun, Oct 25, 2009, at 7:41 PM

People like Linda Messmer who donate their time is why we have a beautiful park that belongs to all to enjoy.The benches are almost vandals proof. This is a wonderfull ideal.

-- Posted by donalde on Sun, Oct 25, 2009, at 8:31 PM

Wow! What a brainstorm u have had, Mr Kumpf, wonderful project to benefit all. Class groups working together is a great way to get started. My husband and I are not among the past Concert Lovers, we are the here and now, so truly appreciate your efforts. UMMM, will have to take this idea and run with it! Many Thanks to you and to all involved in this wonderful community effort! Good Luck!!!

-- Posted by toats on Tue, Oct 27, 2009, at 12:16 PM

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