For those who pulled on work gloves Saturday morning only to see them grow soggy with rain, this year’s Pride Day was not just about the manual labor.
Pride in a job well done and helping the community spurred hundreds of volunteers who participated in this year’s Pride Day. From fixing up Ely Square with flowers to ridding the Rowland Preserve of litter in preparation for summer guests and park beautification at South Central Park in North Ridgeville, not even rain could stop them.
“It’s good to try to help the city and community by any means possible,” said 46-year-old Kim Smink of Elyria. “If people got together and just did what they could, the city would be so much better.”
Smink wore a long yellow raincoat and periodically pushed wet hair from her face as she helped spread fresh mulch around trees and flowerbeds at Ely Square. She was joined by Lowana Dunckel of LaGrange.
Mulching can be tackled only one wheelbarrow load at a time. “But you can see the progress,” Dunckel said. “We’ve done so much today and made things look so much better.”
Pride Day coincided with the Spring Day of Caring, a joint effort of the United Way of Greater Lorain County and Leadership Lorain County. The event was different, but the purpose the same: Help where help is needed.
This year, the weekend work was to freshen up Pearl Avenue and assist community agencies in that area. Volunteers, including baseball players from the Lake Erie Crushers and members of the front office staff. performed a combined 500 hours of service.
“With the help of the Lorain County Volunteer Connection, we were able to provide meaningful experiences to a large number of volunteers while supporting the efforts of some worthwhile local agencies,” said Bill Harper, United Way executive director.
Saturday’s projects included cleaning and landscaping at El Centro, gardening and sorting at the Blessing House and a Pearl Avenue beautification team that focused on the area between East 28th and East 36th streets.
“It’s inspiring to see so many people care about the community and to truly enjoy giving back,” Harper said.