Awards & Events

CityScape Kicks Off ‘Bloom or Bust’ Campaign

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Just like the red-breasted robin and crocus poking through the soil, the annual Youngstown CityScape fundraising kickoff is a symbol of spring in the Mahoning Valley.

Supporters of the organization gathered at Fellows Riverside Gardens’ D.D. Davis Center this morning to launch Streetscape 2015, an initiative that raises money and invites volunteers to beautify downtown and nearby neighborhoods.

This year’s theme, “Bloom or Bust,” is especially appropriate after the nasty winter the Mahoning Valley experienced, said CityScape’s executive director, Sharon Letson.

“We need volunteers to come out and plant, we need donors to come out and support that work, then after our planting day we have our own crew that continues to water and maintain all summer long,” Letson continued.

This year, planting day is scheduled for Saturday, May 30. Volunteer crews will plant beds and flowerpots along the main thoroughfares downtown, along with the John Young Memorial, Smoky Hollow, Choffin Hillside, and Wick Park areas.

On average, Streetscape draws about 600 volunteers and Letson expects the same level of support this year. The initiative typically raises about $50,000 each year for plants, shrubs, flowers and mulch.

The campaign is off to a strong start, as CityScape received a check for $35,000 from the Youngstown Foundation at today’s annual kickoff breakfast.

“The Youngstown Foundation has always been a supporter of Youngstown CityScape and the work we have done,” Letson said. “We’ve been very careful over the years to ask for money when we really need it. This year, we went to them as we’ve increased our mission and our staff.”

CityScape also announced today that it’s launched a new website, YoungstownCityScape.org.

The website, developed by Keynote Media Services, makes it easier for people to contribute by simply clicking a “donate” button on its page, says Richard Hahn, president of Keynote. The new site also contains more photographs and a better explanation of the organization’s mission and history.

“It tells the story in a great way,” Hahn said.

Mayor John McNally thanked the organization and its supporters for the vital role they play to beautify the downtown. “You’re all committed to Youngstown and the city will be doing its part,” he said.

CityScape Vice President Scott Schulick said the beautification effort sends a message to those visiting the city or enjoying the central business district’s entertainment venues. “It’s the way we present ourselves to the world and communicate.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.