Citizens work together to clean up town

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Volunteers throughout the Purdy community celebrated "Pride in Purdy Day" on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The event, which was sponsored by the City of Purdy, the Purdy Volunteer Fire Department and the Purdy AmeriCorps Reading Coaches, brought together local citizens who worked side by side to clear the city of debris from the January ice storm.

"Pride in Purdy Day" was publicized through the distribution of flyers to area churches and businesses and informational notes sent home to the parents of Purdy elementary and middle school parents. A final plea for volunteers was made during the Feb. 9 homecoming game.

"With all of the organization complete, the only thing left to do was to hope and pray that the people of Purdy would answer the call, and answer the call they did," said Renea Neill, director of the Purdy AmeriCorps Reading Coaches. "A total of 122 caring citizens packed the community building waiting instruction."

The ambitious group of volunteers included 29 elemen-tary students, 33 middle school students, six high school students and 54 adults. With this kind of manpower, the day-long effort resulted in a clean-up of 23 yards throughout the city.

"At the end of the day, there was great satisfaction in knowing that people in need had been taken care of," said Neill. "Many words of thanks, hugs and tears were exchanged between volunteers and reci-pients. It was truly a day to take pride in."

In addition to individual volunteers, "Pride in Purdy Day" was supported by the Purdy Special Road District, which supplied a loader and several dump trucks, First State Bank of Purdy, which bought all the oil and gas used to power the chainsaws, and Friendly Service Station, who supplied the fuel.

Food for the volunteers was provided by Purdy's Little Diner, Prime Cut, Kentucky Fried Chicken of Monett and Ramey's in Purdy. Safety instruction was provided by Purdy firefighters and the Barry County Office of Emergency Management.

"The City of Purdy, the volunteer fire department and the Purdy Reading Coaches would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to each person who came out and made a difference," said Neill. "Without you, it would have been just another day."

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