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EAST PALESTINE Home for girls thanks community for help



Published: Sun, September 29, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Fund-raising events will start soon to help pay for upkeep.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

EAST PALESTINE -- It's been a year now since a Columbiana County-run home for troubled girls reopened its doors, and the facility is doing well, largely because of community support, an official says.

The Kyes Group Home, 465 N. Market St., is enjoying "enormous community support," said Eileen Dray-Bardon, county job and family services director.

The department oversees the facility, which provides a temporary home for up to 10 girls ages 6 to 18 who have been placed in the county's custody by the courts. Many are victims of abuse or neglect.

Kyes closed in June 2000, a victim of a county government budget crisis. The home was able to reopen after voters in the November 2000 election adopted a 0.75-mill, 5-year levy that, among other things, funds the home's nearly $200,000 annual operating expenses.

Kyes now has three full-time and three part-time staff members and is home to eight girls.

Role of donations

Although Kyes has money to operate, it still relies on donations to help fund repairs and upkeep to the nearly 100-year-old Victorian structure.

A fund-raiser will start in October in an effort to meet an annual goal of raising $10,000 to keep the house in good condition, Dray-Bardon said.

One aim of this year's fund-raising is to pay for new siding, she added.

Maintaining the facility is important to protect the county's investment and to provide a nice place for youngsters who may have come from homes that are dirty and in poor condition.

"It's cheery and bright," Dray-Bardon said. "Because it's nice, the kids have respect for it, too."

Area residents help keep it that way, Dray-Bardon added. Volunteers have painted rooms, hung wallpaper and made curtains. Donations of food and other household items also are frequent.

leigh@vindy.com




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