Horseshoe Bend High School student Danielle Willoughby spreads mulch during Thursday’s Day of Action at HBS. Students and volunteers participated in cleaning the school grounds during the day’s events. | Robert Hudson
Horseshoe Bend High School student Danielle Willoughby spreads mulch during Thursday’s Day of Action at HBS. Students and volunteers participated in cleaning the school grounds during the day’s events. | Robert Hudson

Archived Story

Day of Action

Published 11:51am Friday, June 21, 2013

United Way recruits almost 200 people to clean up local schools

About 185 volunteers rolled up their sleeves, put on their work gloves, grabbed their disinfectant bottles and showed up with can-do attitudes for this year’s United Way Day of Action.

The Lake Martin Area United Way coordinated work days at Radney Elementary School, Horseshoe Bend School and Central-Coosa Elementary School – the top three earners in each system for the 2013 campaign.

These two volunteers haul trash bags at Radney Elementary. Young people were a big help at today’s Day of Action, according the United Way’s Stephan Tomlin. | Alison James
These two volunteers haul trash bags at Radney Elementary. Young people were a big help at today’s Day of Action, according the United Way’s Stephan Tomlin. | Alison James

“Our main goal today was to get the grounds ready for the new playground,” said Vicki Lewis, a substitute teachers and Project Playground Committee member who joined the efforts at HBS. “So some equipment has been moved, we have mulched around plants and bushes, and we mainly were just doing yard work today. We’re cleaning up the grounds and getting ready for the delivery of our new playground that we have raised money for this past year.”

At all three schools volunteers met a variety of cleaning challenges – everything from landscaping and washing windows to cleaning out lockers and removing clutter.

“This has really helped Radney get ahead of schedule,” said Stephan Tomlin, United Way initiatives coordinator.

HBS had 70 volunteers – twice the number who pre-registered for the workday. Radney had 65 volunteers and CES had 50.

“Today was absolutely amazing,” said Lake Martin Area United Way executive director Sharon Fuller. “At Radney, Todd Haynie said he was so impressed that everyone came in and worked hard. They got so much done.

“At Coosa, all these volunteers came from businesses, churches, all my agencies – they all came out. It was just a totally diverse group, from young kids to older adults.”

Fuller said volunteers in Coosa were so productive that they also made time to do some work at the middle school.

“I think that it helps make the school look better,” said Danielle Willoughby, a rising senior and student athlete who helped out at HBS. “And if the younger kids see that the older kids and student-athletes are coming to help out, they’re going to want to come help the school look better, too.”

Student-athletes were one of several groups who answered the call for volunteers. Tomlin said they also had help from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and people of all ages.

“Funds are tight, so the Project Playground Committee, as well as the community has come together as a whole to get this project completed today,” Lewis said. “With the help of United Way, we have completed the project.”

Fuller said she couldn’t have done it without her interns – David Pruitt and Erin Burton.

“They were instrumental this week in picking up supplies and taking them to the schools and following through with all the details,” Fuller said.

Fuller also thanked the rest of her staff and this year’s sponsors: Koon’s Catering, Papa Bello’s, Russell Brands, the BRHS cheerleaders, Winn Dixie, Home Depot, Fred’s, Russell Do It Center, Walmart, Alabama Paper and Supply, Roses, Lake Martin Building Supply, AAA Contractors and Steven Baker.

Robert Hudson contributed to this report.

 

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