Looking for a unique holiday present that won’t be outgrown or go out of style? North Canton City Council member Mark Cerreta recommends buying a sponsorship for one of the city’s new Gateway Entry Signs.
Even Doug Lane, president of the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, is advocating the signs as a nifty gift idea.
“As you consider giving this season, please consider adding one of the (gateway) signs to your list as a long-lasting gift to future generations,” Lane wrote in the chamber’s November newsletter.
Eleven of the 15 signs are already “sold out,” so those who have been thinking about having their family name, a company or organization name or the name of a loved one engraved on the bronze plaques needs to act soon, Cerreta said.
The 15 brick-and-stone entryway signs greet pedestrians and motorists as they pass along North and South Main Street, East and West Maple Street, West Portage Street, West Everhard Road, West Glenwood Street, East and West Applegrove Street and Schneider and East Hill streets.
The signs are being funded primarily through sponsorships purchased by area companies, organizations and individual community members – not city taxpayer dollars.
Since each pillar and accompanying bronze plaque costs $3,000 to create, the price of sponsorships is as follows: $3,000 to be the lone sponsor of an entire sign; $1,500 each for two businesses, groups or individuals to share a sign; $1,000 each for three entities to share a sign; $500 each for one line on a sign shared by six entities.
“We structured it that way so there could be different levels of giving,” said Cerreta, who spearheaded the entryway signs project. “I already have several people that have put in $500 and said, ‘Just put me on any (sign),’ so there will be a couple signs with multiple names on it.”
Some of the early sign buyers were interested in sponsoring a particular location.
“Randy Smith, who works for Westfield Insurance, bought the sign on Schneider Street because he grew up in that area. Lemmon & DeHoff bought the sign in the Washington Square area because that’s their development,” Cerreta explained. “The one bought by Dr. Michael Thomas will be located right there by his dental office on Portage. The first one to jump on this was Dr. Tim Novelli, who works closely with The Patriot Project Military Chiropractic Care, so he’s putting that on there with his name.”
Also, Walsh University contributed to two signs, including one on East Maple Street near the campus.
The other sign sponsors to date include: The Biris Family, the Warburton/Gregory Families, North Canton Rotary, AultCare, the Keeney Family, Dan Griffith Family, the Bremmer Family, Virtual Hold Technology and Nan DeMuesy, who bought a sponsorship that will read “S/SGT. ‘Junie’ McCue WWII,” in memory of a North Canton veteran she felt deserved recognition.
Even “The Cerreta Family” bought a sponsorship.
“My own family is on there, too, because I had to put my money where my mouth is,” Cerreta said with a laugh.
And for those wondering why the sign posts aren’t yet complete, Cerreta explained: “The tops aren’t on there yet because there were issues with the fabricators of the tops. We had to suspend business with them last week, and have found a Hartville company (whose owners live in North Canton) willing to do the work for the same price. They should be installed by early January, weather permitting.”
The Gateway Entry Sign sponsorship form is attached to this article as a .pdf.