Saturday, 17th November 2018

Emerging Leaders Mural Project is Underway!

Article compliments of Christene Steele,  Photo compliments of Patrick Pfanner - The Bellevue Gazette

Prep work has begun on the side of the brick building where the Bellevue Emerging Leader’s new mural project will be painted.

The building, on the corner of Main and Sandusky streets in downtown Bellevue, is owned by Mike and Jennifer Mazzaro, who have given permission - as well as their blessing - to have the mural installed on the side of their building.

The Emerging Leaders, a group of young Bellevue professionals, was founded last year by Bellevue native Jeremy Pifer, who moved away, then returned to his hometown to raise his growing family. The goal of the group is to help beautify and improve their home town in a variety of ways. The group chose a mural as their first project for several reasons. They wanted to do something concrete and visible, and a mural would be just that. They also noticed that once several buildings across from the library were torn down to make room for the library’s expansion, the demolition exposed the side of the Mazzaro’s brick building and the vast expanse of not-so-attractive brick was the first thing that visitors saw as they drove into Bellevue from the east on Route 20.  After deciding on the project, the Emerging Leaders went into high gear, considering artists for the project and fundraising to complete the job. The group chose mural artists John Stommel and Travis Czekalski, who went to college together in Columbus, and have painted murals for the chain of Mellow Mushroom pizza houses, and other businesses. The mural will depict historic looking buildings and a park-like setting.Work on the mural will begin in the spring, not this fall as the group had earlier planned.

“We decided to wait until spring for the artists to start so that we could make sure the wall prep holds up over the winter weather,” said Emerging Leaders founder Jeremy Pifer. “We want to make sure that it is all done right and can look great for years to come.”

While the group is now 80 percent of the way to reaching their fundraising goal, they are still accepting donations.

"We have received 80 percent of the cost of the project in pledges, but getting the project started as quickly as we have is due to financing through First National Bank,” Pifer said. “Their loan terms were so favorable that it is really more like a donation.”

The group is also now a non-profit and a 5013c, meaning donations are tax deductible.

“We are still taking donations and have a few platinum level slots to fill,” Pifer said.

For platinum-level sponsorship, Bellevue residents and natives can have someone’s likeness painted into the mural in honor of, or in memory of someone who has died or someone who was a pivotal figure in Bellevue’s history.  To donate to the project, or for more information about the Bellevue Emerging Leaders group, including a five-minute video that Bellevue native Brad Bores created to spread the word, visit:, or on Facebook under Bellevue Emerging Leaders.


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