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Community News

Clergy lead cleanup at Boettler Park

6/12/2008 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

GREEN — Instead of sounds of children playing and laughing, Heritage Hill Playground at Boettler Park was filled with sounds of mulching, planting and painting June 8.

More than 200 people participated in the Clergy Cleanup Day, when volunteers from eight Green churches worked together at the park, shown at right top.

The Green Clergy Association wanted a community service project, and association members met with Green Parks and Recreation Division Superintendent Mike Elkins in March.

“We decided the playground needed a long overdue facelift, and now it looks absolutely fantastic,” said Elkins.

Volunteers of all ages mulched the playground, planted hundreds of flowers, weeded and sealed the wood in about six hours, said Elkins.

Photos: Joyce Rainey Long
“Everyone wanted to give back to the community in the spirit of volunteerism,” said Elkins, adding the work the volunteers did in one day would have taken the city crew more than two weeks to complete.

Sandy and Fred Muffet, of Barberton, members of The Chapel, coordinated the volunteers for the project.

“The playground looks so nice. It’s really shining,” said Sandy Muffet. “We are serving God by serving others. That’s what motivates everyone.”

Lynn Thomas, of Green, agreed. She helped by staining benches at the park.

“I use the park with my grandchildren, and they’ve had so much fun and so have I,” she said.

Shown at left top is Chris Brannon, 15, of Green, staining the fence of the playground.

“This is a really great volunteer project for the community. It’s wonderful,” said Dave Ruffner, of Green, who stained the playground equipment.

Before the work started, volunteers shared a lunch together with food donated by Giant Eagle, Pancho’s Southwestern Grille, Orlando Baking Co. and Shearer’s Foods Inc. Church members provided desserts, said Muffet.

Churches that participated in the cleanup included: The Chapel, East Liberty Church of the Nazarene, Green Valley United Methodist Church, Greensburg Church of God, Greensburg United Methodist Church, Living Faith Assembly and Queen of Heaven Church.

Shown at right bottom, from left, are Jill Berenyi, of Clinton; Tim Baker, of Paris Township; Patrice Bartow, of Canton; and Jeremy Hayworth, of Wadsworth, as they work and talk together while they paint.

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