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Nebraska town completes gazebo part of community project

January 27, 2019

GRESHAM, Neb. (AP) — It’s a stately structure — black metal with interior benches, red stained-glass diamonds circling around the top — yet Gresham’s memory gazebo came straight from the heart.

A committee made up of Ardis Burkholder, Andrea Dey, Cindy Buss and Bobbie Fritz spearheaded the design and implementation of the recently-completed, much-loved Gresham landmark.

The idea to build a gazebo percolated for some time, said committee member Cindy Buss. “It took a while to come up with, but we were sitting around trying to figure out how to beautify main street.”

Committee members collaborated on the gazebo, with Andrea Dey being instrumental in the original design of the gazebo. “We went by a sketch that I drew up; we just came up with ideas and talked to the town about what we could or couldn’t do,” Dey said.

Even when the plan to beautify a spot on main street was in its formative stages, the committee members knew the project should be special. “We didn’t want it to be a regular old gazebo,” Dey said. “We wanted something unique.”

After the committee completed the design, Unlimited Welding of Stromsburg did the rest. “We’re all very pleased with how well the welder made it,” Buss said.

It was the welder who suggested adding stained glass. “I think it adds so much more to it,” Buss said.

Having the gazebo completed made Dey see it in a different light. “You don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like until it’s finished,” she said. “We’re pretty happy with it.”

York State Bank Gresham Branch is located near the gazebo’s site, and branch manager Pam George told the York News-Times she’s enjoyed the fresh scenery down the street. “It’s really added a lot to our main street,” George said. “I think it’s awesome.”

Memorial bricks make up the gazebo’s pathway and base. The bricks are engraved by Endicott Clay Products of Jefferson County. In the beginning, the memorial bricks were specifically meant for honoring community veterans. The gazebo’s site itself honors Gresham’s soldiers, as it is located where the village’s American Legion building stood “many years ago,” according to Buss.

As the committee worked on the project, the project’s scope expanded.

“We originally wanted it to be a memorial park for our military, but we thought, ’Why not make it for everyone?” Buss said. Now bricks can also be purchased as memorials, to honor anniversaries and commemorate other significant life events.

“I’ve purchased several bricks for family members,” George said.

This space is courtesy of the village of Gresham, with the placing of the park’s memorial bricks kicking off the project just a few years ago. Now the gazebo itself is complete, but even though its construction is finished, memorial bricks will be added as long as there is room.

“We’re still taking brick orders,” Buss said. “I think it will be an ongoing thing.”

Bricks cost $50 each, and donations aren’t limited to those within Gresham — or even only nearby communities. Buss said in addition to local donations, some out-of-state orders have already come in.

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Information from: York News-Times, http://www.yorknewstimes.com

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