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Lions Club Lights Up Kerr Park

POSTED May 9, 2012 12:00 a.m.

People often say that Oakdale is a community that looks after its own, whether it’s a rallying cry for someone who is sick or injured, or a school program in desperate need of saving.

So it’s no surprise that when the City of Oakdale found itself at a loss of how to pay for the installation of new copper wiring that’d been stripped from the lights at Kerr Park and went to the Lions Club for help, they received it.

The club received a plea from the city for the money to cover the expense of replacing the copper wiring and installing it, but instead of simply handing over a check, they decided, as a group, to use volunteer hours and good old-fashioned elbow grease to get the job done.

Bright and early Saturday, May 12, a handful of volunteers will converge on Kerr Park to not only install the new copper wiring, but also make improvements that will make it more difficult for vandals and thieves to perpetrate the same crime.

It’s been three months since the theft plunged the popular, scenic park into darkness and with summer just around the corner, the Lions Club members felt the community shouldn’t be robbed of one of the prettiest parks in the city.

“The city just didn’t have the money to make the repairs,” Lions Club member Don Knickerbocker, owner of Knickerbocker Electric said. “So instead of just handing over a check we decided to do the work ourselves.”

Thanks to volunteer steam and the collective know-how of members who are electricians and contractors, the project will only cost $1,000 to $1,500 in materials.

Knickerbocker pointed out that the theft caused major damage and expense to the city, yet likely didn’t net the thieves much in scrap money.

“The size of the copper wire that they took wasn’t that big. If they got $100 for it I’d be surprised,” he said.

Although the Lions Club has donated to many different causes and projects, this is the first time they’ve taken on a city project.

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