Billboard gains second life as emergency shelter


For the Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — When a billboard sponsored by the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services is updated with this year’s Week of Appreciation message, the vinyl from the 2020 campaign will find new life.

According to Carla Stone, account executive for Lamar Advertising, certain heavy-duty vinyl panels such as those used on the highway billboard between Piqua and Sidney are able to be repurposed into emergency tent shelters and to cover damaged roofs. She said Lamar Advertising is currently gathering vinyls to help protect structures and shelter victims displaced by Hurricane Ida.

Brad Reed, director of Community Resource Development for the Tri-County Board, said the board was excited to find out the old vinyl panels would be reused and sent to areas needing emergency shelters.

“It’s especially fitting in this case,” Reed said, because the message of Week of Appreciation is to acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices of all those who work to keep local communities safe: law enforcement, fire/EMT, educators, mental health and addictions services, medical professionals and support staff, public health and safety, and other essential workers.

“Many of those same workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic response now find themselves responding to disasters such as the recent hurricane,” Reed said.

Week of Appreciation is a statewide recognition in September, organized and funded through grants from the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities and county mental health and recovery boards. The Tri-County Board serves Miami, Darke and Shelby Counties, and will be recognizing about 150 entities by delivering appreciation packs the week of Sept. 20-24.

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