For the first time, local residents will have a chance to ‘Love Oakdale’ on Saturday.
The longstanding community service day is coming to Oakdale for the first time and organizers said they are excited about not only the number of projects to be done, but the number of people that they expect to show.
“This is the first time we are doing it, and we will have all kinds of things, from taking cookies to the police department to repainting buildings, putting new signs in parks,” explained Mike Hancock, who serves as the City of Oakdale Volunteers Coordinator.
He is working with a planning committee to set up the day.
“We create all these projects, people register on line and then they will come out to work on Saturday morning,” he noted.
Throughout the region, some 40 communities will observe Saturday, Sept. 29 as the community service day, with Love Escalon, Love Riverbank, Love Modesto and more all scheduled to occur.
Wood Park will be the gathering site for Oakdale workers, with volunteers invited to come out at 9 a.m. on Saturday, gather for a brief rundown of the service opportunities, meet with their individual project leaders, then head out to work.
Most communities do the Love days twice a year and Hancock said that is now also the goal for Oakdale. With the response organizers have seen so far, they are certain they can pull off the twice a year schedule.
“We have 200 signed up so far, they will spend three to three and a half hours on their projects, then we will come back to Wood Park where we will have a barbecue set up,” Hancock said. “It’s just a big volunteer event.”
Designed to clean up communities, restore some civic pride and put the focus on helping your neighbors, Hancock said the projects are varied.
At Dorada Park, a new city park sign will be installed, three new garbage containers put in and some painting done of restrooms and a storage shed, with some 30 to 40 volunteers expected at that location alone. At Cottles Woods Park on East J, a new emblem will be put on the sign and the sign itself refurbished, with some clean-up work as well. The Soroptimists have volunteered to handle that project.
A walking trail by the senior center and community garden on East A Street will be cleaned up and more artwork added to the mural by high school students and art teacher Nancy Kern.
“We will also have a number of clean up activities going on at all the parks, at different times, and some people will take cookies to our police and fire departments, teams of volunteers will thank them for their service,” Hancock said.
Another team will do weed abatement behind the Guardian House on West F Street.
Hancock said officials are anticipating about 300 volunteers to turn out for this inaugural Love Oakdale effort. Those interested in learning more or signing up can visit the website, www.loveoakdale.com.
Members of the planning committee, in addition to Hancock, include Brandon Peterson, Mayor Pat Paul, Lloyd Kjos – who is putting together the volunteer barbecue luncheon Ramona Howard, Bonnye Spray and Pamela Kelly.
“We have been meeting for about three months and we are all nervous about Saturday, but excited,” said Hancock. “We’re expecting a lot of people to turn out.”