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The Suburbanite
  • Around Town: Walser uses grant money to enrich a neighborhood

  • Corrine Walser, a bus driver for Canton City Schools, celebrated the holidays recently with the entire McGregor Elementary School neighborhood, thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Stark Community Foundation.

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  • Corrine Walser, a bus driver for Canton City Schools, celebrated the holidays recently with the entire McGregor Elementary School neighborhood, thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Stark Community Foundation.
    “I write a grant for the whole year,” she said, explaining her responsibility as the chairwoman of SWING group, the Southwest Involved Neighborhood Group.
    When detailing how grant money is spent, she said, “We have neighborhood cleanups, a newsletter, Web site, a block party during the summer, and A Christmas holiday party. Contributors for the grants are JP Morgan Chase, The Repository, Timken Charitable Trust and the Stark Community Foundation.
    “It is a wonderful program,” said Walser, noting that without Marilyn Thomas Jones, the senior program officer for the foundation, the events may not be possible. “We are grassroots. We have a team of volunteers to help plan the parties, but everyone has a job to do. During the block party, usually held in August, we give out school supplies. At the holiday party, the young children get gifts.”
    Everybody pitches in, and it is wonderful,” she said. “When everyone gets along, it just improves the neighborhood. The youth that come out to help are rewarded with various things. It shows them to take pride in what they do.”
    HUMANE SOCIETY VOLUNTEERS
    YMCA of Central Stark County Leaders Club members have chosen March 16 to do a countywide service project in conjunction with Stark County Humane Society.
    Teen leaders from the Louisville, North Canton, Meyers Lake, Lake Community, and Alliance Family YMCAs will work together to help walk dogs, spend one-on-one time with the cats, bathe puppies and give the animals in the shelter extra love and
    attention.
    In addition to the Teen Leaders are leadership advisers including Teri Faudree, of the Alliance Family YMCA.
    Among the volunteers are Athena Welsh, Cody Cook, Alex Chapman, Sara Haddix, Allison Brady, Gene Rogers, Jillian Faudree, Adam Brady, Murphy Flowers, Bradley Dennis, and Leonard Cook.
    BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
    If you have them, Avondale Elementary School needs them.
    Ameniah Kemp, a second-grader at the school, is heading up a book drive for youngsters at Akron Children’s Hospital.
    “The idea grew out of things we talk about here at school, like helping other people,” said Jerry Mohn, principal. “We do what is called a Thankful Thursday a couple times each month, and as a part of that we give to different charities. She came up with this idea to donate to Akron Children’s.”
    Ameniah’s giving nature extends further than the classroom.
    “My daughter is an amazing child,” said mom Michelle Kemp. “She really does enjoy doing things in the community and giving to others. During the summer months she has helped me work at the Stark County Hunger Task Force a few times, and she does really love being a good friend and making everyone feel included.”
    Page 2 of 2 - As for the book drive, students already have started donating books to the cause. The school is collecting elementary-school-age appropriate books that can be taken to the school office during school hours.
    Donors are requested to call 330-491-3720 in advance so office staff can expect your arrival. Lowe’s at The Strip donated the boxes the books for collecting.
    The books will be delivered to the hospital Thursday.
    Send tips about acts of kindness, anecdotes, honors and other items of interest to Denise Sautters, Around Town, The Repository, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702. Information can also be faxed to her at 330-454-5745 or emailed to her at denise.sautters@cantonrep.com