Service center stage - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Service center stage

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Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 3:36 pm, Mon Aug 5, 2013.

A North Idaho town will soon get a boost from a bunch of friends it probably never knew it had.

Led by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but including folks from many other walks of life, Rathdrum will be the beneficiary of more than six community service projects all in one day: Saturday, Sept. 14.

It's called, "Working together to make things better."

Majestic Park, the community's recreational centerpiece, will be the primary focus as volunteers construct a concession facility with restrooms - from start to finish, top to bottom, countertop to wash basins - all in one day.

Among the other high priority projects is painting the Masonic Lodge in the heart of the community's historic district. Windows that now are boarded up will be examined and, if possible, repaired or even replaced.

There's plenty more planned, ranging from landscaping to fence painting and trash pickup, so nobody showing up to volunteer will be turned away or left idle. Organizers acknowledge that last year's project, painting the entire Kellogg High School stadium, took far less time than anybody anticipated.

This year's project directors are Jeff Crandall, an attorney, and his wife, Julie, a nurse at Kootenai Health. Heading up the public relations and doing much of the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting are Richard and Julienne Dance, who moved to the Coeur d'Alene area from Seattle just a year or so ago.

Mormon Church members worldwide have led community service projects since being inspired by rescuers and civilians alike in the wake of 9/11 in New York, and this year's effort in North Idaho is the most ambitious local effort yet.

Organizers told The Press editorial board that they're reaching out to many other churches, civic groups, Scouts, fire departments and even 4-H members to provide whatever support they can, from building supplies to elbow grease. They're hoping to attract 500 or more volunteers and make a powerful impact in that one happy, productive day.

While the real joy will come from working side by side with similarly spirited folks, there will be a reward at the end of all that hard work. A barbecue in Majestic Park, with music and games and lots of great food, will cap the volunteers' day.

In our view, this is what living in North Idaho is all about - friends, neighbors and even strangers helping one another with no strings attached. We can't wait to pitch in.

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