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Kiwanis clubs gather as one to clean up park

April 08, 2007|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A rare April snow shower on Saturday morning was not enough to stop a group of local residents from doing some community service.

Coordinating with thousands of members across the world, members of the four Chambersburg Kiwanis clubs braced against the cold air and swirling snow to clean Memorial Park as part of the first global Kiwanis One Day.

As members spread across the world, local members spread across the park Saturday morning, cleaning branches and bagging trash and leaves.

Project coordinator John Shearer said about 20 volunteers came to the park to rake leaves, spread mulch, prune bushes and clean up trash and broken tree branches.

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Shearer said the Sunrise, Noon and Evening Kiwanis clubs of Chambersburg joined with the Key Club from the Franklin County Career and Technology Center to clean the park.

John Southwood, president of the Evening Kiwanis Club, said the project selected by the club was an expansion of the Kiwanis' annual maintenance of the park's band shell.

The club donated the band shell in 1985, and provides regular maintenance including painting, trimming bushes and mulching.

Shearer said all of the debris collected by the club would be disposed of by the borough.

Southwood said the club plans to make Kiwanis One Day an annual event, but said the project and location might change.

"It is based on what the community needs," Southwood said. "Next year, we could have a need somewhere else."

With Kiwanis International anticipating more than 600,000 members worldwide to participate in similar projects Saturday, Shearer said the weather was not about to stop the group.

As members created pile after pile of leaves and branches, many laughed and joked about the cold.

"The weather is perfect," Bob Isernia said. "I am from upstate New York, so this, this is not cold."

"It is a pleasure to do community service," Michelle Bowen said.

Kiwanis is an international organization of volunteers dedicated to community service.

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