'Blinky' barrels kick off Ohio fundraiser

| 10/5/2001

Beginning Sept. 24, drivers may have noticed the Ohio Turnpike Commission is collecting donations for relief efforts following the Sept. 11 attacks.

The commission has brought out "Blinky," the turnpike's orange-barreled mascot, to help kickoff their "Caring About America" fundraising campaign. Blinky barrels have been distributed to 14 service plazas along the turnpike, allowing travelers to make donations of change and cash.

"As a public entity, the commission has limitations on what can be contributed to the relief efforts; however, we still feel an overwhelming desire to help our fellow citizens, friends and others in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania," said Gino Zomparelli, the commission's executive director. As a result, the commission has developed a fundraising campaign in which all proceeds will go directly to the rescue and relief efforts.

"The relief effort is expected to continue for months to come, as will the need for monetary donations. Americans have poured out their hearts to help in the wake of this tragedy and the commission is planning to do its part with the help of Blinky, the generous patrons who travel on the Ohio Turnpike, and its dedicated workforce," Zomparelli said.