Downtown spruce up part of United Way's Day of Caring

Saturday, September 15, 2007
United Way volunteers Cathryn Ensley (right) and Tiffany Brunes plant chrysanthemums in the concrete planters surrounding downtown Greencastle Friday morning. Ensley headed up a United Way project called Day of Caring and hopes to make it an annual event. Other volunteers worked on various projects throughout the city at the same time.

The aroma of freshly placed mulch filtered through downtown Greencastle Friday morning.

Up the block from the BannerGraphic office, Mayor Nancy Michael and other city leaders rolled back their sleeves and went to work planting fresh fall flowers in the concrete planters around the square and applying new mulch to the tree pits as part of Putnam County United Way's inaugural Day of Caring.

"It's amazing what a difference it makes and how it makes our town look better for people who pass through," Mayor Michael said wearing her blue jeans and brown work gloves.

Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael, who was wearing her hat as a United Way volunteer, tends to the tree pits around the courthouse square Friday morning as part of the United Way's inaugural Day of Caring.

All across town, from Johnson-Nichols Health Clinic to the Putnam County Youth Development Commission downtown, volunteers representing local businesses and organizations teamed up to help their community.

Organizer Cathryn Ensley, who grabbed a shovel and went to work alongside other United Way volunteers, said work crews repaired fences at Hope Haven horse farm on U.S. 40, weeded flower beds at Johnson-Nichols, performed a demolition project at Opportunity Housing, and painted at the Youth Commission and Mental Health America Putnam County office as well.

In all, more than a dozen workers completed six projects around the city Friday morning, Ensley said.

"I think this a great opportunity to show how much can be done in one day and with lots of people helping," Ensley said.

United Way's kick-off breakfast was conducted Friday morning, after which time the Day of Caring was begun.

"This is our first Day of Caring and we just wanted to demonstrate how much this community cares," Ensley said.

United Way volunteer Eric Wolfe, who helped with the downtown planting, said people were coming up to him and commenting on the flowers and mulch.

"I think people have been very nice and appreciative. The project makes the downtown look nice and uniform," he said.

Those helping with the downtown plantings included Wolfe, Ensley, Mayor Michael, Glen, Tiffany Brunes, Mariellyn Hill, Amy Doan and Jim and Laurie Hardwick.

Other volunteers, Ensley said, were Margo Hertenstein, Colleen Matthews, Jim Ensley, Josh Richardson, Sue Bowser, Craig Chrispell, Georgenna Gick, Terese Cunningham, Sharon Bridges, James Eystad, Mace Terry, Dan Rendant, Jason Noggle, Blake Schowe, James Erlenbaugh and Rick Alexander.

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