From one end of the community to the other, volunteers fanned out to attack overgrown lawns, clean up alleyways, spruce up planter boxes, help their neighbors and, just generally, Love Oakdale.
The annual volunteer effort arrived in town on Saturday, April 5 and there were multiple work teams assigned to different tasks, with literally dozens of volunteers making quick work of many projects.
First time participant Elizabeth Greenlee spent her morning at the Children’s Play Park doing plenty of manual labor.
“I’m weeding, picking up trash, raking leaves, all of the above,” she said with a smile. “The church I belong to now, The River, is involved so this is my first time doing this.”
Like many of the volunteers, Greenlee was providing service with a smile, as a feeling of camaraderie and a sense of pride filled the workers as they completed the tasks ahead of them.
Oakdale Rotary took on cleaning up the gazebo adjacent to the play park, with members Frank Clark and Farrell Jackson busy power washing, assisted by President Rick Schultz and member Jerry Jones.
Also busy at the park was Kathy Miller, wearing her ‘Group 14’ sticker, indicating more than a dozen work details were spread out across the community.
“I like to see our city cleaned up and the park where the children play kept nice,” she said.
Elsewhere, a roping clinic for children was put on to entertain the youngsters while their parents worked at the park, and there was also a carnival hosted at Meyer Park adjacent to the library. Steve Airola gave some roping lessons to youngsters at the play park while Mayor Pat Paul was among a contingent of workers, many from the Oakdale Garden Club, beautifying the area surrounding the Yesterday is Tomorrow statute outside the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. They also planted 21 rose bushes at the corner of North and Yosemite at the entrance to the city.
“I just like helping my mom plant the plants,” said fifth grader Marcos Hercules, 10, a student at Magnolia Elementary.
Volunteer Mike Hancock said about 225 workers turned out and pastor Kent Roberts of The River said a total of 20 projects were tackled during the day.
As he has for many years, Lloyd Kjos coordinated the grilling and serving up of a hot dog lunch for all volunteers and many community service clubs, school and church groups, along with other individuals turned out to love their community.
“It was a great success,” said Roberts.