STEUBENVILLE - The man who helped design the city's unofficial logo has announced that Steubenville Pride Week is under way, and that the promotion will feature merchandise that includes the logo that is under attack from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
"Steubenville is our town. Whether it is a Steubenville logo or a Steubenville landmark, we take pride in our community and we encourage everyone else to do the same," said Mark Nelson, co-owner of Nelson Fine Arts and Gifts.
"We decided to initiate Steubenville Pride Week in response to the attacks and threats of a lawsuit from the Madison, Wis., organization. My wife. Gretchen. and I are transplants to the community and have long worked to become involved through our business, church, social and civic activities. One of our goals is to make Steubenville a place our eight children can be proud to call home," Nelson declared.
PRIDE — Madelyne Nelson, an employee at Nelson Fine Arts and Gifts, shows a customer several of the items for sale at the Lincoln Avenue business featuring the Steubenville logo. She said 50 percent of the logo merchandise sold during Steubenville Pride Week will be donated to the Save the Grand Theater project. - Dave Gossett
He said half of the proceeds from the sale of logo-related items, including mugs, key chains, T-shirts, hoodies and license plate frames as well as bumper stickers and yard signs during Steubenville Pride Week will be donated to the Save the Grand Theater project.
Steubenville Pride Week began Wednesday and will conclude on Aug. 17, Nelson explained.
"The merchandise is now on sale at our showroom on Lincoln Avenue or at our new website, www.freedomtothemax.com.
"We want to take pride in our community and at the same time help the Grand Theater restoration efforts. Perhaps someday the Grand will be included in a future logo," said Nelson.
Nelson said his team at Nelson Fine Arts designed the logo in cooperation with city officials.
"The main feature is the prominent Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Ohio River. The rising sun in the background symbolizes the coming rebirth of historic Steubenville, a once-booming steel mill town that is proud of its roots but looking to the future. The fort and sentry represent Fort Steuben the namesake of the town and the original gateway to the Northwest Territory. The small triangular building in the logo represents homes and families. The two tallest buildings are our local skyscrapers. And the silhouette of the chapel and cross are of Franciscan University of Steubenville and symbolize the anchor the university has become in our town as well as the great education and deep rooted faith of the many people of Steubenville," explained Nelson.
"The tagline, 'Where you always have a home,' from 6th Ward City Councilman David Lalich is very fitting for this friendly city in Eastern Ohio," added Nelson.
Nelson Fine Arts Marketing Director Kevin Nelles said the business is already receiving phone calls and orders from across the country.
"We even had an e-mail from a woman in Great Britain who wanted a shirt with the logo. This has become a national issue for many people," said Nelles.
"What bothers me is this organization has used its interpretation of separation of church and state that is not included in the Constitution to bully the city into changing its logo. My family and I are proud to be here in Steubenville and to be part of the community. We are also proud to have a business in Steubenville," Nelson said.