Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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February 24, 2014

Stadium bricks hot item at flower shop

ASHLAND — There’s more than flower arrangements coming out of the South Ashland Florist these days.

Bricks from recently demolished Putnam Stadium are coming in and going out fast.

Donna Suttle has sold nearly 100 bricks — at $20 a pop — to be inscribed by local artists Melanie Osborne and Denise Spaulding.

Suttle said her goal was to collect $2,000 for the Putnam Stadium Restoration project and it looks like that’s going to be a low estimate. She has scheduled a Brick Party for Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at South Ashland Florist where those who have purchased a brick can pick up their gift.

There will also be a silent auction on some other items, including collectable Ashland Tomcat memorabilia, and the Tomcats for Tomcats group will be selling a limited edition of unframed prints. There are two 8x11 prints ($50) and one 11x14 ($75) with all proceeds benefitting the foundation.

“Things are going well,” Suttle said Monday morning. “I just got another 50 bricks.”

Suttle is cleaning the bricks before passing them along to the artists, who have been busy inscribing notes, class years and anything else anybody wants. They are painting the bricks white and inscribing them in maroon, Suttle said.

“I haven’t seen a finished product yet but I know they’ll be good,” she said.

The Brick Party fundraiser idea is only about a week old but many Tomcat fans — and others — have latched onto the idea of keeping a piece of history.

The home side of the 76-year-old stadium is completely down and the visitors side is coming down quickly. Light’s Enterprises has only needed about two weeks to tear down the old stadium.

“What I want is for people to walk in and see all these bricks lined up with different captions on them,” Suttle said.

Former 1967 Tomcat football star Les Lyons brought in an old glass trophy case that had Tomcat stickers and many “autographs” written on it. It will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

“I don’t know if anybody will give me anything for it,” Suttle said, “but we’re going to try. It’s beat up but it’s nostalgic.”

Most of the bricks are stamped with Ashland Brick Co. They have been popular items. Bricks can be picked up at the old Dust Bowl beside the stadium at no cost but to get them personally inscribed at the Brick Party it takes a $20 donation.

“People don’t want to miss out on this,” Suttle said. “These make great birthday presents or Christmas gifts. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

Jolinda Conley, a member of Ashland’s 75 class that started Tomcats for Tomcats (TFT), came up with the idea of selling prints as keepsakes. “I wanted TFT to have a way to help raise some money for the stadium and this seemed like a good way to do it,” she said.

Jolinda’s husband, Steve, has been the groundskeeper at Putnam Stadium for 11 years, she said.

“It’s a frequent topic of conversation at our house,” she said, referring to the stadium. “It’s going to be a real party at Donna’s place on Saturday. I think it’ll be fun.”

The prints were made on high quality paper, courtesy of Tom Burnette and Ashland Office Supply. There will be 100 of each style. Conley said if anyone wants a print they can contact here at jolindaconley@hotmail.com or call (606) 571-1174.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

 

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