MIDDLEPORT — When schools are closed and/or consolidated, what should be done with the trophies and other memorabilia specific to that school? Sadly, sometimes, these precious items are disposed of in various ways, never to be seen again.
Locally, a specific group of trophies and plaques represent victories and achievements earned in football, basketball, baseball, track, band, and academics. Their old home was once Middleport High School, where they proudly stood in cases at the entrance to the building.
After consolidation, and construction of new buildings, this old school building was vacated, the cases vandalized, and the trophies removed and placed in storage.
Recently a concerned group of individuals, including alumni, formed a committee to find a new home for these valuable articles. They felt that not only were these items sentimental to the school, they are an important part of Middleport history and needed preserved with a permanent home, where they could be displayed for public viewing.
The MHS Trophy Case Committee began by meeting with Middleport Mayor Fred Hoffman, and the Village Council, who gave their permission and support of the idea of placing a new trophy case in the lobby of the Middleport Village Hall. The trophy committee then worked on finding a builder and estimates to complete this project.
Funding was the next hurdle for this group, and in June, letters were sent to MHS alumni and other individuals, explaining the project and asking for financial support. The total estimate would be around $11,000. This price will cover the cost of complete cleaning and repair of the trophies, replacement of broken and lost trophy parts, replacement of illegible name plates, plus the construction of the trophy case itself.
The plans are for a 4-section, 16 feet long, wooden and glass case, complete with lighting, back mirrors, glass shelves, and locked glass doors. The oak case will house the approximate 60 trophies and other MHS memorabilia dating from 1929 to 1968, will be visible to all those who enter the lobby of the Middleport Village Hall and will also contain names of all donors.
Financial support has been enthusiastic over the past month with the goal currently just over the halfway point, and cleaning and repairs of the trophies now underway. Recently, the committee met with the builder, who plans to have one section of the case partially completed and displayed in the Middleport Village Hall by Labor Day weekend, in time for the Middleport Alumni Banquet attendees to view.
Members of the MHS Trophy Case Committee include John and Margie Blake, Eddie and Judy Crooks, Diane Lynch, Dick Owen, Don Stivers, and Mary Wise. All donations go into a special account at Middleport Village entitled “Middleport Trophy Project” and will be overseen by this committee.
If you are interested in making a donation, checks should be made payable to Middleport Trophy Project and mailed to Middleport Trophy Project, c/o Susan Baker, Fiscal Officer, Middleport Village, 659 Pearl Street, Middleport, OH 45760.
Information and photos provided by Jennifer Harrison.