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Bryan residents help fund new city amphitheater

For over a decade investors in Bryan donated money to give back their city, all while not knowing what their funds would ultimately create.
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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BRYAN, Ohio (WTVG) - Since 2005 members of the Bryan community have given monthly donations to “The 2020 Group”.

“It was really kind of an inspirational idea of let’s doing some big but we don’t know what it is," said investor Kirk Vashaw.

“The 2020 Group” is made up of local residents working together to save money to create a long-lasting way to give back to the city of Bryan.

“It was at least 12 years that I had been involved, and every month we would put in additional money," said Vashaw. “It just does show just a little bit of money over a long period of time, from a large group of people can add up to a lot."

On Wednesday afternoon investors got the chance to see the results of their efforts with a dedication and ribbon cutting of the Fountain City Amphitheater, located in Rec Park.

Investors stand on stage for the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Fountain City Amphitheater, located in Rec Park.
Investors stand on stage for the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Fountain City Amphitheater, located in Rec Park.(Jack Bassett)

The decision to build the $426,000 amphitheater came from community input received by the 2020 group.

“The project 2020 group really challenged the community and said give us your ideas, what do you want, what does the city of Bryan need, what would you have value for?, said Bryan Area Foundation President Amy Miller.

The Bryan Area Foundation and funding from the State of Ohio assisted Project 2020 with funding the amphitheater. After two years of construction, the theater’s first show is this Saturday.

“We’re just really excited for one it brings to the community it will be a chance for us to gather safely, socially distanced, outdoors, but also enjoy a concert together," said Amy Miller.

Christian musician Matt Hammmitt will be the first performer to debut on the Fountain City Amphitheater Stage with admission free to the public.
Christian musician Matt Hammmitt will be the first performer to debut on the Fountain City Amphitheater Stage with admission free to the public.(Jack Bassett)

Grammy-nominated Christian musician Matt Hammitt will take the stage at 7:00 P.M.

Investors with the 2020 campaign explain obviously they never expected 2020 to look the way it does, but they’re glad their long-standing campaign can give back in a year unlike any other.

“I do think it’s neat that we happened to pick an outdoor amphitheater so that when we open it in the midst of coronavirus it’s the perfect venue because if it had been an indoor facility we wouldn’t have been able to do anything, so I guess it was just destined to be," said Vashaw.

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