City Band, Lions Club restore bandshell benches

Volunteers from the Ashland City Band and the Ashland Lions Club worked together earlier this month with hammers and hand drills to repair and restore the Butler Bandshell benches in Lithia Park.

The old benches were warped and weathered after years of use. The restored benches have slats made of mahogany instead of oak, and should last for many years, according to organizers of the restoration.

The Lions Club raised funds for the project by selling ice cream and other snacks at the free band concerts this summer.

The public support for the two benches restored during the 2008 concert season encouraged Ashland City Band and Lions members to complete all of the remaining benches so they would be ready for the 2009 season.

"A lot of wonderful people come to the free concerts," said Lions Club President Richard Anderson. "They started the fundraising for this project by buying ice cream and sorbet at the Lions' concession stand."

The city, the Parks and Recreation Commission, Ashland Lumber and Ashland Hardware all contributed to the success of the project.

"We enjoyed working with the musicians," Anderson said. "The free concerts are fabulous. They even transformed an obsolete piece of office equipment into a musical instrument — they made a manual typewriter sing — so we knew they could do just about anything."

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