Rawhide youths help with project
By Holly Neumann
With the help of Rawhide’s About Face Service Corps, Lindsay Park Sports Complex is being cleaned up.
“The cleaning up of the trash, tires and the trees was the idea of David Augustine,” said Mayor John Smith. “He thought that when we beautified the downtown we were just taking focus off of other areas that needed attention. Dave organized the project with Rawhide himself and has been overseeing the project. It’s wonderful to see private citizens taking pride in our city.”
Augustine stated that this was something that he has wanted to do for some time.
“I see that park as a vital area for revitalizing the community,” he said. “I look at it this way. If people come to town and see only the downtown area given a facelift, what happens when they turn off that path and see the rest of the city? The park is an area that had been neglected for many years.”
After talking with friends, someone suggested asking the Rawhide group to help.
Joel Ross, field trainer for the About Face Program at Rawhide, feels that these types of projects are important.
“These service projects teach the boys the value of a hard day’s work and what they can accomplish if they set their mind to a task,” said Ross. “The work we do teaches the boys to give back to their community when they go home.”
He believes that the Service Corp instills the values of hard work and moral compass that will benefit the youth for the rest of their lives.
The About Face Program has worked in the community before.
“We have done several projects in Manawa over the years, like the boardwalk and the walking trail,” said Earl Schmoll, who is the project coordinator. “We are here to help cities and other non-profit organizations in the area.”
The youth that participated seemed to enjoy the work as well.
“I have to admit, I have made some bad choices before I came here,” said one of the boys. “It feels good to be helping out.”
“Somehow when a stranger comes up to you and thanks you and tells you, you did a good job, it’s a good feeling,” said another. “I have not heard a lot of that in my life.”
According to Augustine, his efforts are supported by the Little Wolf River Trails Organization.
“This is a project that was needed to be done,” he said. “We need to continue our efforts to help in preventing vandals from vandalizing our park by opening up a view that overlooks the Lindsay Park Complex.”
He sees Lindsay Park as an asset to the community.
“If you visit the park you will see two fields, a concession stand, shelter house, play area and the Little Wolf River,” he said. “Not far from the park you have one of the best sturgeon sites, which should be developed and the Mill Pond. If you want to improve the city, I feel why not use the assets we have here.”
He noted that there are a lot of good ideas out there that need to be acted on.
“I acted on mine,” he said. “We need people to be involved with the overall health, wellness, safety and economic growth of our community.”