Cumberland Times-News

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June 5, 2009

Caring, sharing unifies citizens

CUMBERLAND — Dreary skies and cold rain couldn’t wash the smiles off the Day of Caring and Sharing volunteers’ faces Friday morning.

“This is just a great event and a unique way to spruce up the city for the summer months, and the weather won’t dampen anyone’s spirits,” said Downtown Manager Ed Mullaney. “And this year we have had a record number of flowers donated.”

More than 300 flats of annuals were donated for the Day of Caring and Sharing and more than 500 plants and flowers grown by inmates in the Western Correctional Institution greenhouse were given to officials for the event. Inmates and correctional officers from WCI and North Branch Correctional Institution also participated in cleaning up the city.

“It’s pretty amazing all of the different people who pull together to help beautify our area, and County United Way is great with recruiting labor and volunteers,” Mullaney said. “This is truly a unified community effort.”

Councilman Butch Hendershot said in the first year of the Day of Caring and Sharing, less than 100 volunteers came out to help with approximately 10 projects. This year, more than 600 people signed up to participate in 40 different projects.

One of the teams that helped this year was a group of ladies from Chessie Federal Credit Union.

“We just love our community and downtown; so much effort has been put into cleaning the area up and making it look nice,” said Shirley Riggs. “We (decided to join the Lets Beautify Cumberland! Committee) because we wanted to participate in maintaining the area and keeping it beautiful.”

In its fourth year of participation in the event, the Chessie team was getting dirty as members filled the large downtown planters with mulch and flowers.

“The rain isn’t so bad; we were going to be getting dirty anyway so it didn’t keep us from coming out,” said Sally Mitchell. “We also had made a commitment to be here and wanted to keep that. Plus, we wanted to get involved and do our little bit to help out.”

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