Ready to make your mark?

Published on Thu, Oct 11, 2001
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Ready to make your mark?

Blaine residents are being asked to change the face of the city in one day. Organizers of the city’s Make a Difference Day are hoping neighborhoods will arm themselves with paintbrushes and weed-whackers and take to the streets. “Making the community look like something you’re proud of is not something only the city can do,” said city manager Gary Tomsic, who signed Blaine up for the program, sponsored by USA Weekend magazine, which last year brought out over two million volunteers nationwide to help out in their communities. “We need community buy-in.”

Tomsic said sprucing up the. city would capitalize on the momentum of the Blaine beautification committee, which has already tidied up several sore spots on Peace Portal Drive. “The appearance of the community is one of our highest priorities,” he said. Tomsic got the idea of Blaine joining Make a Difference Day from a first hand view of its success in Wenatchee. “It really did make a difference there. So many people in the community came out it became a regular Monday morning question – what did you do on Make a Difference Day?”

City clerk Shirley Thorsteinson, a member of the beautification committee, said community members could work together, go it alone or join city crews on October 27. “If they have a project they see that needs to be done, just do it!” she said. She suggested neighbors could get together to clean up their block, picking up litter, weeding or painting fences. If a vacant property needs cleaning up, neighbors could work with property owners to mow and plant wildflowers.

Thorsteinson said the city is also putting together a list of projects that need doing, from an elderly person who needs help with maintenance to cleaning up a city open space. She said both prospective volunteers and residents who need a hand with clean-up projects should call city hall. “Projects will get done on a first come, first serve basis, depending on whether we have enough people to do everything,” Thorsteinson said.

City staff and members of the Blaine beautification committee have chose Lester Park on Peace Portal Drive as their project. “We’ll be planting bulbs for spring in a red white and blue theme,” Thorsteinson said. The crew will also weed the park and sand and paint the benches.

The beautification committee is sponsoring a free breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Blaine senior center to kick off the day, which Thorsteinson said will be the first of many ways people are recognized for chipping in. “We want to give them credit,” she said.

Tomsic said he hopes the city’s first Make A Difference Day is the start of a Blaine tradition that grows every year. “It’ll be fun and hopefully we’ll see some great things done in our community,” he said.

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