May 19, 2013 was a day of celebration as the Friends of Goodale Park formally dedicated the Goodale Fountain as a gift to the people of Columbus and as a memorial to Paul Cianelli. The dedication marked the culmination of the eleven year project to design and install a significant “public art” water feature in Goodale Park. The fountain was designed by local artist Malcolm Cochran and alludes to Columbus’ Sells Circus which was well known for its elephants. The tiered structure is faced with granite that was cut and shipped from India and is topped with two cast-bronze elephants sculpted by Malcolm. The spouting elephants and cascading structure is designed to flow year round, creating some interesting ice sculptures during the winter.
The dedication event kicked off with a dog parade and costume competition. Speakers included Stan Sells who enlightened the 200 plus people in attendance about the history of the fountain project; local realtor Bruce Dooley who spoke about his friend Paul Cianelli and his lifetime of helping the neighborhood; and Malcolm Cochran who talked about his inspirations for the fountain’s design. FGP President Jason Kentner then officially gifted the fountain to the people of Columbus, represented by Alan McKnight, Director of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. The ceremony moved to the plaque dedicating the fountain as a memorial to Paul Cianelli and culminated with a reception featuring a brilliant replica cake of the fountain by Short North bakery Piece of Cake.
With the initial phase of restoration of the Wm. Fish gate at the northwest corner of the park having been completed in 2012, FGP then focused on raising funds for the restoration and preservation of the stone columns of the gate. By the conclusion of 2013, FGP had been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Joseph A. Jeffrey Endowment Fund which when combined with previously awarded grants from the Columbus Foundation, the Short North Civic Association, the Short North Foundation, and the Neighborhood Partnership Grant (together with funds committed by FGP), all of which enabled FGP to proceed with phase two of the restoration during 2014.
A major element of the FGP mission is to maintain and improve the appearance of Goodale Park. To that end, Julie Hallan, the FGP Volunteer Coordinator, continues to provide exceptional support in publicizing FGP work days through social media and in recruiting volunteers by connecting with various organizations and individuals. A typical work day may tap student groups from OSU, business groups such as Chase Pride, and individuals from across Franklin County. During 2013, FGP offered 26 volunteer opportunities in the park during which 500 volunteers donated over 1,220 hours of labor. In the four years that Julie as served as Volunteer Coordinator, FGP has recruited over 2,000 volunteers who have donated more than 5,000 hours of labor in the park. No wonder Goodale Park looks so great!
On July 14, 2013, FGP sponsored a tour of nine home gardens in the Short North, reflecting a wide diversity of garden designs. Approximately 110 folks attended. In addition, there were three presentations in Goodale Park on the following topics: Bee Keeping, Raised Beds, and Biodynamic gardening.
On December 4, 2013, FGP concluded the year with its annual Holiday Gala. This year the event was held at the home of Rajesh Lahoti and Travis Samson across from the park at 110 Buttles Ave. The Gala again included a silent auction of artistic items as well as a fantastic array of food and drink donated by area restaurants and merchants (including Basi Italia, Piece of Cake, Spinelli’s Deli, Basil, La Fogata Grill, Union + Axis, Skully’s Music-Diner, Northstar Café, Giant Eagle, and Anthony Thomas Candy). Sponsor for the event included: Dooley & Co. Team – Keller Williams. The event also honored Pat Lewis for her twenty-five years of contributions and dedication as an FGP Board member. The event drew over 100 people and raised nearly $6,700 in support of park projects.
Members of the FGP Board include: Jason Kentner, President; Maddy Weisz, Vice President; Andy Klein, Treasurer; Eric Anderson, Secretary; Greg Krobot, Beth Vogt, Rick Frantz, Bryant Fried, Rick Harrison, Stan Sells, and Dave Snow. Rick Miller, our representative from the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, deserves special recognition for all he does to follow up on Board decisions.
FGP sincerely appreciates the great working relationship that has been developed over the years with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. This partnership has resulted in so many major improvements to Columbus’ oldest park, continuing to make it the gem of the Short North.