EAST LIVERPOOL – Virginia Jackson, 90, grew up and graduated from East Liverpool and had a vision for the city: to light up the streets of the city center with fairy lights. Jackson said Columbiana gave him the idea. “Columbiana has them and I’m so impressed with how beautiful they are. When you walk into Columbiana, every store has something. it rocks” she says.
Jackson said she thinks adding a little aesthetic with the slightly brighter lights would be a pick-me-up for the city. “I’m so excited because I think this is going to be a real incentive for East Liverpool to come back to life.”
Jackson is moved by the community support she received during the project. She said she worked at the Diamond and someone stopped and gave her a $100 bill for the project. Jackson was moved to tears by the generosity. “That’s so sweet,” she said, visibly moved by the gesture.
She said she had the idea for the lights but wasn’t sure what the next move should be. “I didn’t know where to go and then Jeff told me he would take the horse by the tail and go with it and he did.”
Councilor Jeffrey Kreefer recruited the East Liverpool Fire Service to help run the project and turn on the lights. “I always train the firefighters in everything and these guys never turn me down and they are always there to help me,” said Kreefer. “They really are. Without them to help me, I would do next to nothing. And that’s just volunteer help.
Kreefer wanted to thank those who helped him turn on the lights, including firefighters Alex Estell, Josh Coil, Shawn Fiffick, Michael Dubray, as well as retired firefighters Chris Harrison, James Miller, Deputy Chief Antony Cumo, Chief William Jones, Lt. Lance Smith, Craig and Greg Stowers, and Kreefer’s friend Emery Smith.
Kreefer said they hung lights in the Diamond over the weekend and he would like to walk a few more blocks. “I’m going to try to do Sixth Street, over there in front of Market Street”, said Kreefer. “I will try to do Washington Street. I should be able to do them.
Kreefer said he’s worked with Jackson on a few projects in the past. “She called me with this and I can’t refuse her, she’s such a nice lady.”
Kreefer said the cost for the lights is between $70 and $80 per 100 feet. Its objective is to illuminate the city center by the next meeting of all classes.