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Birdhouse sale funds Fitness Park additions

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HOUSES: Jerry Martin and Stan Bippus talk about the birdhouses they crafted together.
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CHURCH: Stan Bippus shows off what they have completed on the church replica that will help with the next fundraiser.
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CLOSE-UP: A birdhouse representing all of the 15 former high schools are on sale atJuergen's Do It Center, through Saturday.

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@h-ponline.com

The Professional Piddlers Association has started up a new fundraiser this week, in hopes of collecting funds to add to their Fitness Park at Lake Clare.

The ultimate goal is to add more obstacles and move the crawling obstacle to the side of the course, since they’ve noticed people bypass the obstacle because not everyone wants to get down on the ground and crawl through it.

They hope to create an obstacle that is a 20-foot-long log that is held up by chains. Participants would have to walk across the log, which will sway as they move. They also hope to build another 20-foot-long obstacle, where participants must crawl across a series of rolling logs, and a salmon ladder.

To make these additions and modifications, the association has built 15 birdhouses to sell to the community, each representing the 15 high schools that Huntington County used to call home.

Each bird house is painted with that school’s colors.

The idea came to the association when brainstorming for a new way to raise money. Stan Bippus, Professional Piddler Association president, said he’s reached the point where he’s asked people for money to help fund the park and other projects so many times, he wants to do a fundraiser to help this time.

“Wherever I go they say ‘alright what do you want this time’ because I’m always hitting people up for money, so I thought we could do our own little fundraiser,” he explained.

He said they got the idea to paint the bird houses in school colors after they saw how successful the Heritage Days floats were, which honored and remembered the 15 high schools in the parade.

“We thought since there was a lot of interest in the float competition and we’re piddling around out there all the time, let’s just do this. We’ll try this approach and see if it works, and if it doesn’t, we’ll do something else,” he said.

When it came to actually making the bird houses, Bippus said it didn’t take too long, especially with the help of Vice President of the piddler association, Jerry Martin.

“His job is cutting them out and nailing them together. My job is painting, so mine is harder than his,” Bippus said with a laugh.

The piddlers are selling each bird house for $25 with all of the money going toward paying for the cost of materials to build the new obstacles. If a high school bird house has been sold, a new one can be made.

The bird houses are on display at Juergen’s Do It Center until September 15th, along with small-scale models of the obstacles the piddlers hope to build at the Fitness Park.

For their next project, Bippus and Martin explained they are working on a replica of a church in Bippus. They are hoping to find someone to sponsor a fundraiser or raffle with the replica, to raise more money for the park.