Friends of Smithfield reorganizes

SMITHFIELD — Several years ago, a group of concerned former and present residents of Smithfield formed the Friends of Smithfield. Some of these members live in Cleveland, Kirtland and Canton but return on the third week of the third month because they love the village where they were raised.

Over the years, they looked into cemetery neglect, tried to push for repairs on a wall that curves along state Route 151, kept an area at the Friends Church Cemetery clean, decorated at holiday occasions, worked with the Smithfield Council, held a yard and food sale at the old Catholic church parking lot and held many pasta dinners to raise money.

The members brought in an interesting speaker from Flushing on the Underground Railroad, a speaker who brought bones from those in native lands and America to show how what is eaten determines what happens to their bones and an author who once lived in Brilliant and is now a noted writer who has earned star awards, RobinYocum.

The group met on Jan. 18 to organize and re-organize the corporation so more effective work with Smithfield Township can be accomplished.

Officers elected for the 2020 fiscal year include Chuck Fluharty, president; Linda Kovach and John Borkowski, vice presidents; Cindy Straus, secretary; and Evelyn Clouston, treasurer. It was determined there should be several specified committees to deal with various issues to be handled jointly with the township.

The heads of the committees include, Fluharty, Kovach, Borkowski, Straus, Clouston, Don Roe, George Harrah, Linda Helt and Paul Greene.

The board of directors will meet the first Tuesday of each month beginning Feb. 3. Quarterly meeting dates and locations for the membership will be determined by the board meeting on Feb. 3. The group has reorganized to face challenges ahead and is looking forward to working in cooperation with the township.

Members don’t see their role as being limited by the dissolution of the village.

“When we are found with a crisis, we must take advantage of it and that is what we intend to do,” Fluharty said.