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A new tradition for Carrollton graduates? Class of 2020 banners line village streets; thanks to community effort
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“It’s amazing what can be done when a community comes together.”
Those words were spoken by Ed Robinson, director of programs for the Carrollton Schools, regarding an effort to hang picture banners of members of the class of 2020 on poles throughout the downtown area and along Canton Rd.
Jon Rinkes, owner of Rinkes Insurance and father of 2020 graduate Jillian Rinkes, approached Superintendent Dr. Dave Quattrochi and staff about purchasing banners to hang on the poles. With school approval, Rinkes spoke with Carrollton Mayor Bill Stoneman, Village Administrator Mark Wells and Police Chief Bob Ellington (father 2020 graduate Olivia Ellington) about placing the flags on poles. They were on board with the project. Wells took the initiative to gather information about kits to hang the banners.
Soon the project was underway.
“We wanted to do something nice for the seniors. They lost the entire 2-3 months of their senior year. They were the first class that was supposed to receive their diploma in the new school; to be with their friends rubbing elbows and laughing,” Rinkes stated. “They didn’t get to have a senior prom, spring musicals, senior trip, even senior skip day and senior prank. All the little things that were taken away that they will never get back.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s directive, Carrollton Schools closed March 16 with the possibility of opening April 6. Later, the directive was for schools to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. When DeWine added the directive for gatherings of no more than 10 people, spring sports, along with school events were cancelled.
Rinkes said the community stepped up, and he worked with Dunlap Photography for senior photographs. Soon 155 banners were ready to be displayed. The school district purchased the hanging kits, Robinson explained, so when the banners come down, the hanging kits will go to the school. They will be used on the 50 light poles at the school campus on Scio Rd.
Rinkes is quick to say it was a community effort, “The crews were great to work with. We had to reschedule three times, but it’s been fun.”
Those assisting with hanging the banners included B&B Tree Service, Carroll Electric Cooperative, Ron Eick Electric and Richardson Electric, along with members of Carrollton fire, street and police departments.
“Jon was the one who made this happen. He built the brigade of volunteers,” Robinson stated. “Thank you for the team and community effort. It speaks volumes about the community, Carroll County and its residents.”
Rinkes hopes the banners will become a tradition; Robinson said, “He can see the banners becoming a tradition.”
When the banners are taken down, they can be picked up at Rinkes Insurance, 1115 Canton Rd., Carrollton, Monday – Friday between 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. Call 330-627-4442 if special arrangements are needed.
“When I see parents stopping and students taking pictures by the pole, it makes it all worthwhile,” said Rinkes. “They were robbed of so much.”
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