CHADRON – About 500 volunteers worked at 50 sites including businesses, government and church buildings and private residences during the fourth annual The Big Event (TBE) Saturday. Work ranged from serving ice cream and helping with a pet adoption event to painting, yard work and picking up trash.
Another crew helped prepare the trailhead for the Cowboy Trail east of Chadron by clearing debris from the trail and right of ways.
Alyssa Sanders, TBE co-director, said the committee was very pleased with the day’s outcome.
“Overall it was a great day of giving back and showing our appreciation for our awesome community. We look forward to getting feedback from job sites and looking for ways that we can improve in the future. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who took time out of their day to make this day possible,” Sanders said.
Jessica Orose, TBE co-director, Piedmont, S.D., said those who benefited from the various projects were thankful that college students, faculty, and staff took a few hours of their days to help.
“Some of the projects could not be completed if it wasn't for all the volunteers. The volunteers had a great day and enjoyed the wide array of different job sites,” Orose said.
A new job site this year consisted of sidewalk chalk art with an Earth Day theme. The purpose of the art was to draw awareness to substances that go into storm drains, said Jacki Dailey, Keep Chadron Beautiful education coordinator.
“The volleyball team did an awesome job. I was really very impressed with their designs. A lot of people downtown for Earth Day noticed their work and complimented it,” Dailey said.
Head football coach Jay Long said planting trees and painting picnic tables at Chadron State Park was a great experience for his team.
“Giving back to this great community is something that all of our guys thoroughly enjoy,” Long said.
One the football team members, KamRon Tomlinson of Grand View, Missouri, echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“It’s good to know you’ve done a good thing even though we won’t be able to see these trees when they are fully grown,” he said.
Also planting trees in the vicinity, the Health Professions Club participated in The Big Event for the third year, this time at Camp Norwesca south of Chadron State Park. Sara Marlatt of Gordon, Nebraska, said the club is thankful the community provides opportunities for students to give back.
Gregg Galbraith, Chadron State Park superintendent, said The Big Event was a great help to Chadron State Park.
“We were able to plant 800 pine trees, and paint and scrape two cabins and 16 picnic tables. All the work that got done helps our summer work team concentrate on other projects to help keep the park looking good,” Galbraith said.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator