The forecast called for rain Friday, and a few thunder rolls came and went, but those participating in Live United Day experienced a mostly sunny day while volunteering to brighten the community.
Around 30 projects were undertaken Friday all over the Cass County by 400-plus volunteers, according to United Way executive director Chris Armstrong.
Volunteers did everything from making laundry soap for Buddy Bags at Lewis Cass to painting the restrooms at Galveston Park to filling purses to donate to shelters at the Twelve Mile Community Center.
In Royal Center, volunteers fixed the little library box, did yard work for an elderly couple, made trays of cookies for bus drivers and school personnel, held a canned food drive for the pantry, fixed the playground at Webb Chapel and held a smoke detector drive with the Red Cross.
It was hard to find an area of Logansport that didn’t contain volunteers in their black Live United shirts. Volunteers here painted, cleaned and otherwise spruced up the Salvation Army, Huston Park, the Aquatic Center at Muehlhausen Park, France Park, the Flory Preserve, Franklin and Landis Elementary Schools, the 4-H Fairgrounds, Ivy Tech, the Berry Patch, Riverside Park, the AIMS softball fields and the Emmaus Mission.
Other groups helped make bags for nursing home patients, cleaned and organized the museum at the Logansport State Hospital and replaced and repaired headstones at the State Hospital cemetery.
Two larger projects were completed by Live United volunteers on Friday as well.
Columbia Elementary received funds from two grants for new playground equipment. The grants were from the KABOOM Let’s Play Construction and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. The grants were received with the collaboration of Angela Crook and former third-grade teacher Heather Kasten, who is now at Eastern Pulaski School Corporation.
These grants, along with funds given to the school from the Parent-Teacher Association, helped purchase new play pieces.
The equipment was installed by the advanced carpentry students in the Century Career Center’s Building Trades Program and their instructors, Mark Roeske and Jason Pearson. Deichman Excavating removed the old playground pieces and Logansport Savings Bank donated water for the crew.
The art club at Logansport High School partnered up with Youth Service Alliance and spent the day beautifying the dark gray cement wall that runs along Erie Avenue behind Emmaus Mission Center.
The theme for the mural was “Above the Influence,” which is a prevention campaign that promotes living above the influence of drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and bullying. The campaign logo is an arrow pointing up with a circle around it.
The students made stencils beforehand and were allowed to make their arrow however they chose.
“It’s supposed to represent them and why they choose to live above the influence or however they would want to design their arrow,” said Nikki Mallott, the Strategies Coordinator at Youth Service Alliance.
There were 16 students who participated in painting the mural. The students as a group said that they were having a lot of fun. One girl was eating a slice of pizza while she painted her arrow and another group of girls helped each other up the steep slope. LHS art teacher Sandy Gaier said that one of the students said, “I wish we could take more days where we just went and painted for the day.”
Mallott said that Emmaus Mission’s executive director Jason Mitchell came out and looked at the mural earlier and said that if other groups wanted to add to it, they’re welcome to in the future.
Mallott didn’t paint an arrow herself. She instead stood on the sidelines, handing students water and pizza when they wanted it.
“They are super talented,” said said. “I’m not artsy — I’m here for moral support.”
Mallot also said that she would love to add to the other wall that runs along Eighth Street. “It would be cool to have arrows in other places around town. It’s just finding the locations that will donate the space.”