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Posted: 06/09/10

GAZEBO UPGRADE. Above, from left, Romeo Lions Club members Bob Hart, Tim Schamante and Mark Huss work to rip out old, rotting floorboards from the Village Park gazebo on May 22. Below, Romeo Lions Club President-Elect Paul Lozzi installs pressure-treated planks as part of the restoration project held by the Lions and Parks and Recreation Department.

(Photos courtesy of Betty Bucsek)

Romeo Lions renovate
Village Park gazebo

Observer Staff Writer
      A group of dedicated individuals did the lion's share of the work in restoring the Village Park's iconic gazebo.
       Around 7 a.m. on May 22, 17 members of the Romeo Lions Club rolled up their sleeves and went to work for 10 straight hours to restore the gazebo.
       Lions Club President-Elect Paul Lozzi said the structure's wood had been rotting over the years, and numerous drawings and carvings found all over the gazebo had left it in bad shape.
       "The Lions built it so many years ago, and when we looked at it we decided it was in disrepair and wanted to take care of it," said Lozzi. "It's something we did because we want it to stay nice for the town."
       The original gazebo was designed by Lion Tom Trobovich in 1990 and dedicated in June 1991.
       The project, jointly sponsored by the Lions and the Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Recreation Department, removed the floor deck, seats, staircases and railings and replaced them with pressure treated materials.
       Clara Russell, Parks and Recreation director, said the disrepair of the gazebo is in part from teenagers who vandalize it, whether it's carving initials or using skateboards or bikes on it.
       "We just need the community to keep a watch out for it," she said. "It's only a few people who, sadly, make it ugly."
       She said she was grateful the Lions stepped forward, as the department has considered knocking down the structure and building a patio in its place.
       "The thought process was, if there was a patio there was nothing to vandalize," she said. "That gazebo makes that park, so I'm glad they took the initiative and were happy to come out and help."
       Parks and Recreation agreed to refinish the structure once the Lions Club completed its work.
       Lozzi pointed out two Lions members in particular for their contributions. Jim Probst, owner of Busy Bee Disposal, donated a dumpster that the Lions used to get rid of the old materials, while Kelly Youngblood, owner of Main Street Bar and Grill, provided refreshments and the use of her facilities.
       Aside the gazebo, other projects the Romeo Lions have tackled this year include a donation to the renovation of the village clock, a $6,000 scholarship for a Romeo High School student and its annual white cane/leaderdogs fundraising event.
       "We do bring in some money, but we like to put it back out into the community," Lozzi said.

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