Libbey group seeks public input on memorabiliaWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Six people active in trying to preserve the memories of the closed Edward Drummond Libbey High School gathered Jan. 27 to discuss plans for the school’s memorabilia—and called for public input.
Larrie Baccus, Larry Farren, Bill Albert, Warren Woodberry, and Roger and Kathi Sund gathered at noon on Jan. 27 at the Frederick Douglass Community Association on Indiana Avenue.
The group is seeking a home for about 350 pieces of memorabilia and trophies, preferably in the South End. The items currently rest in storage, according to the Toledo Public School district (TPS).
“One thing we are sure of is we will find a home in the community,” said Baccus, president of Libbey High School Alumni, Inc. (LHSA), an alumni group. LHSA posted a list of memorabilia at www.toledolibbeyhsalumni.com in hopes that individual winners would come forth and claim their trophies. Now the group hopes that the public will step forward with ideas of where to house the other trophies, preferably in one place in the South End.
Woodberry suggested renting a space to temporarily house the trophies until a more permanent solution is found.
“Before you find a place, you want to gather them all up,” he said.
“Before something happens to them,” Kathi Sund added.
The group may also contact a local historical group or government officials like the Lucas County Commissioners or Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
“You gotta bring a higher power to lend pressure,” Woodberry said.
In addition, the members discussed planning an event, potentially on Veterans Day, to honor Libbey alumni who served in the armed forces. At the Toledo Board of Education meeting Jan. 24, Farren, secretary of LHSA, asked for two military items: a plaque honoring Libbey alum and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. Robert Craig, and a plaque with the names of 106 Libbey students who gave their lives in World War II.
“The plaque for Robert Craig should be displayed prominently,” Roger Sund said.
“In the South End,” interjected Albert.
Farren said the group hopes to get in touch with one of Craig’s relatives before the event.
The group may reach out to veterans’ groups for help with the two memorials.
At the board meeting, Lisa Sobecki, board president, directed James Gant, chief business manager for TPS, to follow up on the two items. Farren had not heard from Gant as of Jan. 27, but Gant had said he plans to get in touch.
Sobecki also asked Gant to come up with a report of how the district should proceed with the individual trophies and potentially the team trophies for an upcoming committee meeting of the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission.
Baccus said the group would need to create “a very nice list of demands” before speaking to Gant.
The group indicated that it was the district’s responsibility to reach out to the alumni and not the other way around.
“The debts to the South End are going to take decades to repay,” Albert said. “We are the stockholders in the city and TPS.”
Sobecki and Gant previously said TPS would be open to working with an organization willing to house the trophies. They also said that the district may find a place to display the Libbey trophies along with memorabilia from other closed TPS schools.
However, LHSA had little confidence in that plan.
“You start asking questions, and all of a sudden [TPS] has plans for the trophies,” Woodberry said.
If you have suggestions of where to house the plaques or trophies, call Baccus at (419) 244-1236. LHSA is also interested in any photos of the memorabilia.