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From Opioid Crisis Ground Zero to Heroes: How Portsmouth, Ohio, Plans to Swap its Battered Image for Fresh Paint and a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title


From Opioid Crisis Ground Zero to Heroes: How Portsmouth, Ohio, Plans to Swap its Battered Image for Fresh Paint and a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title

Opioid Epicenter Seeks to Revitalize its Downtown and Secure a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title in One Day

PR Newswire

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio, July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Portsmouth, Ohio, is resigning its position as the national opioid crisis punching bag with a one-day downtown transformation event involving hundreds of its citizens. Friends of Portsmouth, a local nonprofit organization involved with community growth and prosperity, announced today that it has raised a small army of volunteers to revitalize the main downtown areas of its injured Ohio town. It also has announced that it will be attempting to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Most people potting plants simultaneously, as part of its PLANT PORTSMOUTH event that will occur on August 18, 2018.

The event will kick-off early in the morning with a massive power washing of all the main street concrete sidewalks and brick pavers. While downtown dries, the community will attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title with a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator on hand to verify the attempt.

That afternoon, PLANT PORTSMOUTH volunteers will paint light poles, street signs, street curbs and will line the roads that are set be repaved. To preserve their accomplishment, volunteers will reinforce and seal the brick. Finally, volunteers will cap the event by planting US flags from each downtown light pole to remind Portsmouth citizens that it was once considered an All-American City, and it will be again!

"In one day, the image of our downtown will change immediately so we can start believing in ourselves again. Our downtown currently feels like it looks. Weeds, corrosion, and desolation," says event chairperson and local attorney, Jeremy Burnside. "It looks like the despair that the national media has been reporting about us."

Portsmouth, Ohio has been in the national spotlight for over a decade due to the devastating effects from the rise and fall of its "pill mills." In the early 2000s, these self-proclaimed pain management clinics funneled several million pills annually into this town of approximately 20,000 citizens. Once the government shut them down, the pills fell on the black market, allowing heroin and deadlier drugs to take over. Portsmouth's significance in the national opioid epidemic spotlight has been featured in books, national television exposés and several articles in national media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

"Our hope is that an epic one-day downtown transformation and setting a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title will encourage outsiders, including businesses, to plant Portsmouth as a destination for business relocation, tourism, and raising a family. For those of us who live and work here, we aim to plant Portsmouth pride back in our hearts so that it grows."

In just three weeks, PLANT PORTSMOUTH has raised over $50,000 from business sponsors. These sponsors have agreed to provide a team of workers for the block they agreed to revitalize. The event organizers forecast raising nearly $100,000 toward the efforts and plan to donate any remaining proceeds to a town ambassador program, to preserve the work and hope that the event envisions.

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SOURCE Friends of Portsmouth

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