More than 350 volunteers assembled at Katy Park last Saturday morning to kick off a “Day of Action” that involved 34 projects in and around Sedalia.

The event was organized by United Way of Pettis County Executive Director Rachelle Simon and her board over the past several months.

Simnon explained that residents needing help with home improvement projects submitted them to the UW Board and they approved the projects that would be worked on during Day of Action, June 22.

In addition, neighborhood clean-up around six blocks of Katy Park, which served as headquarters last Saturday for the five-hour event, took place as well. That was spearheaded by First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham, who said this was his fourth or fifth such event.

“One year we were located at Liberty Park, one year we were at Vermont Park, this year we're at Katy Park. I go around and see if the teams need anything, and supply them with water, trash bags, gloves, rakes, etc., that's kind of my role here is supervising the neighborhood cleanup,” Oldham said. “If there's an emergency, I pick 'em up & bring them back in.”

The cleanup area was broken up into 14 sections.

As for the various projects, Oldham noted that the board pairs up the teams with the projects well ahead of the June 22 date, so everything is well organized and efficient. Also, canvassing took place previously to ask if residents needed anything done on “Day of Action.”

Simon said that this year's event drew 350 people on 33 teams. Last year's event had 20 teams with 250 volunteers. Teams ranged greatly in size from four to 30 people. At least five projects were located outside the city limits.

“So many people showed up to give back to the community,” Simon said of the event, adding that Altrusa served breakfast to the volunteers.

Third Ward Councilman Bob Hiller delivered a proclamation to the crowd as part of opening ceremonies, while Simon delivered a speech, thanking the volunteers for donating their time and talents. United Way board members signed in each of the 350 volunteers at the Katy Park shelter house. Payton Jones from Marshall sang the National Anthem to kick off the event.

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Residents' appreciation for the work being done on Day of Action generates a genuine warm spot in Simon's heart. “I'm so happy and filled with joy,” she commented.

“I think a lot of times we don't see the good that humans still have for one another, and so this restores people's faith in humanity in some ways, and so it's a lot of work, but you know, I like it,” Simon told KSIS.

Credit goes to Altrusa for serving breakfast, the Sedalia Lions Club supplied lunch, Dugan's Paint supplied all the paint for the projects, Heartland Cocoa-Cola supplied all the drinks, and many local businesses gave discounts to the United Way for Day of Action.

“Everybody's offering what they can, and every little bit goes a long way,” Simon concluded.

In the top photo, members of the Smith-Cotton High School volleyball team help paint fencing at Community Church of Christ, 2000 South Ingram, on June 22, as part of the United Way's Day of Action.

Day of Action

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

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