2011.06.29 Keith Pennington: Volunteering is community

Written by David Green.

The Town & Country Festival wrapped up this weekend with a near-capacity crowd on a perfect evening for outdoor fun. Many took advantage of the planned activities, left their traditional routine behind and made time to get to know their neighbors a little better at the festival. 

These opportunities don’t come along very often and they don’t happen without a lot of effort by volunteers. It was no coincidence that many of the yellow-shirted volunteers looked a little battle-worn by Saturday evening. For them the festival marked the end of months of preparation. Be sure to tell them “Thank you.”

As Colleen Leddy correctly pointed out in her “Midnight Musings” column in last week’s paper, “the essence of this town is the people.” The volunteers of the Morenci area set it apart from many larger communities. We realize that government and industry cannot provide everything needed for a strong community and that much would be lost without a strong corps of volunteers.

Opportunities to volunteer occur all year long. There are clubs, churches and service organizations that plan to serve on a regular basis. They provide an excellent opportunity to help you plug in to your community with projects and resources that accomplish things that we cannot do on our own. Get involved in service organizations.

Most often volunteers are simply people seeing a need and then filling it. The idea that “that’s someone else’s job” or “why doesn’t someone do something about that” never crosses their minds. If we pay attention we can see opportunities to serve and take note of people serving. Both are important.

I’ve noted some people serving nondescriptly in recent days. Crop Production Services sent a couple workers out with a truck picking up brush for a couple days assisting their community. They saw a need and filled it. Saturday I noticed a bunch of pamphlets blowing in the street in front of the car wash a couple of hours after the parade. It was quite a mess and then I saw a Morenci policeman park his car and work several minutes to clean it up. It wasn’t “his job” but he saw a need and filled it.

Thank you, citizens, who “see a need and fill it.” You make a difference here every day.

– Keith Pennington,

Mayor of Morenci

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

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