NEW PHILADELPHIA -- The carousel at New Philadelphia's Tuscora Park has been preserved and enjoyed as a community treasure for more than 70 years. A ride on the carousel is an experience that has been shared by generations of children, parents, and grandparents.

To ensure that young and old can enjoy the carousel for generations to come, significant repairs are needed to keep the ride turning for another 70 years. A fundraising effort to gain the estimated $57,000 needed for those renovations is being announced today by RTY, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that operates and maintains the rides at Tuscora Park.

Carey Gardner of New Philadelphia, president of RTY, said the plan calls for a major mechanical and electrical renovation of the carousel, necessary to preserve its structural integrity and ensure smooth and safe operation for many years to come.

He says the hope is to complete the work by the first of May and have the carousel ready to begin operations when the Park opens for the season on the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

"The Carousel Works Co. of Mansfield came to the Park to assess the carousel's condition and identify its mechanical and electrical needs," Gardner said. "The drive system, jumping horse mechanisms, and the wiring are original equipment, meaning they're nearly 90 years old. The project will restore the carousel to original condition mechanically with the benefits of state-of-the-art electrical and drive systems."

Gardner said the New Philadelphia Park and Recreation Board has approved the plan to make the improvements to the carousel as well as the pavilion that houses the carousel. Repairs to the pavilion and its repainting have been funded by a private donor.

RTY is a charitable organization and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Gardner said anybody who wishes to support the carousel project may send their donation to RTY, 161 Tuscora Ave., New Philadelphia, OH 44663.

Since 1985, RTY, Inc. has contracted with the City of New Philadelphia to operate and maintain the rides at Tuscora Park. RTY also operates the park's concessions, conducts the Summer Showcase concerts at the Park Amphitheater, and built and operates the Park Place Teen Center. RTY was founded by members of the New Philadelphia Rotary Club and club members continue to lead the organization.

For information about the project and making a donation in support of RTY, contact Rod Miller, director of parks and recreation, at 330-343-4644, or Carey Gardner at 330-343-4733.