Recycled benches dedicated to memory of closed schools

In a brief ceremony on Sept. 29, three recycled benches manufactured from 1,815 pounds of caps and lids collected by students were dedicated to the memory of Chippewa, Highland and Hilton elementary schools, along with Stepping Stone Preschool, that were merged into the district’s new elementary school.

The ceremony took place at the new Brecksville-Broadview Heights Elementary School in front of the benches, which are now situated at the school’s front entrance.

The benches were decorated with red and gold ribbons for the occasion. Donna Hessel, Emerald Necklace Garden Club, welcomed guests and provided an overview of the Lids to Benches project.

Marlene Hatton, president of the Garden Club of Ohio, spoke about her president’s mission to reduce plastic waste, which inspired the project. Principal Colleen Toth talked about the students’ enthusiastic participation and the school’s ongoing recycling program.

Chippewa Garden Club members Debbie Schuckert and Margaret DeWolf acknowledged and thanked all the volunteers involved and the contributors of funds for the manufacture of the benches.

The ceremony concluded with the reading of a poem about a bench by Joey Grispino, a third grader at the school.

Garden Club of Ohio President Marlene Hatton looks on as Joey Grispino, a third grader at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Elementary School reads a poem he wrote about the new benches installed outside the school. Photo submitted.