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Volunteers to tackle 75 projects Saturday

The Great Day of Service, coming up this Saturday, May 12, has been growing rapidly with 75 projects already outlined as individuals, businesses and organizations get ready to give back to the community. ’The event, sponsored by Barnesville First United Methodist Church, is designed to do a lot of different things in one day, from helping needy individuals to public services,’ said organizer and Barnesville councilman Mark Stone. ‘The theme is service and sharing the gift of love.’ He credits Barnesville Mayor Peter Banks with bringing the concept here. One of the projects is the renovation of the caboose at the Depot. Teams from Zachry Industries will do the work, using research by Shanna English and city manager Kenny Roberts ‘“ who found the code numbers for the original paint colors ‘“ to put it back the way it was during its days of glory. ’Zachry is going to provide the paint, supplies and labor,’ said Stone. Other projects include reroofi ng and painting the Old Jail Museum, which will also get a handicapped ramp and have limbs trimmed from the trees surrounding it. The Women’s Clubhouse will be repainted by the high school Beta Club while the Trojan football team will paint the interior of the Lamar County Activity Center cafeteria. ’A lot of good work will be done that day,’ said Stone. Projects will be launched from the middle school, where breakfast donated by Chik-fil-A and other sources will be served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. A short program will be held before some 500 volunteers ‘“ including 160 school students who will be painting, mulching and even baking cookies ‘“ head out to work on their assigned projects. They will return to the middle school about 1 p.m. for lunch. In addition, the Barnesville- Lamar County Humane Society will hold an adjacent ‘Great Day of Adoption’ at the Ritz Park, bringing in its own and pound animals for adoption. Volunteers will help animal control workers with the adoption process and help clean up the animal shelter. ’We’ll also be holding a membership drive,’ said Beverly Ethridge of the Humane Society. Cookies will be delivered to residents of Sunny Grove and Heritage Inn and the homebound. The Rotary Club will repaint fire hydrants and is planning to share the GDOS concept with other Rotary clubs. Two county fire stations, including the one in Johnstonville, will be repainted. ‘It’s going to be an exciting day, weather permitting,’ said Stone. ‘We’ll put people to work based on their talents.’ Barnesville provided new electrical outlets and lighting circuits for the Depot, which is owned by the Historical Society and used by Lamar Arts as a gallery. One project that will likely not get done that day is moving an old railroad telephone booth ‘“ made of solid concrete ‘“ from the Old Jail Museum to the Depot. Initial cost estimates are $1,500 and the locally made booth needs restoration. Barnesville also mowed the community garden lot and provided water to it in preparation of the growing season. Other work includes restoration and cleanups at the Lamar County Senior Citizens Center, health department, Pike-Lamar Center, E.P. Roberts Center and Barnesville-Lamar County Library. ’Many of these have less funds to work on,’ said organizer Mary Beth Stone. ‘This leaves necessary projects that would go in need without GDOS. We have disabled and shutin residents with ramp or home entrance issues and other small but very important projects.’ Other supporters of the event include First Baptist Church, Kiwanis Club, Southern Rivers Energy Operation Roundup, State Farm Insurance, United Bank, Akins Home and Feed, Emerson Painting, Lamar Tire and Auto, Parks Water, Balamo Building Supply and McWilliams Tree Service. ’We can’t hold a great day of service without the involvement and support of all our business partners,’ she said. Major volunteers are Niall Matheson, Kelly Hughes and Leesa Woodall with Octavia Jackson as the event-day trouble-shooter. There will be a church nursery for parents wishing to take part in projects but who will need their children watched. Donna Robinson, director of the Barnesville First UMC children’s program, will oversee the nursery at the church between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 770-358-1494 and speak to Amy Jackson to register children for the event. A drive-by food collection center, led by the St. George’s Episcopal School team, will be on the Holmes Street side of the library. Volunteers will also pick up boxes and bags of groceries at the donor’s house. Call 770-358-1494 to schedule a pickup. For information or to volunteer, call Mark or Mary Beth Stone at 770-358-6939.

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