Marion High School students did a fine job of rolling out the red carpet for alumni returning for Old Settlers’ Day.
Students spruced up the town Thursday as part of their annual day of service.
“I’ve been so impressed over the years at the amount of work these students are willing to do on community service day,” said Lisa Johnson, an MHS teacher who coordinates the day’s activities. “Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by how much work we get done and accomplish.”
Students painted curbs along Main St., picked up limbs at various businesses in town, provided tree removal for a residence, helped erect a tent in the park, and painted lines at the elementary school, among other activities.
“I like to give back, but I also like not having any classes, so it’s a win-win,” junior Seth Savage said.
The day of no classes provided a chance also for seniors to paint their parking spots and each class to construct its class float for the parade.
Senior and homecoming queen nominee Sydnee Baldwin said she found an idea for her spot online.
“It’s weird that I’m the one painting a spot now,” she said. “It’s always been like, ‘Oh yay, I’ll get to paint a senior parking spot,’ but now it’s actually me doing it, so it’s weird.”
Baldwin’s purple and yellow floral design took her most of the day, she said.
“I painted curbs for a little bit,” she added.
In addition to the day of outside activity, students got to be treated by principal Tod Gordon, who (with the help of others) grilled hamburgers for the whole school.
Johnson said the event is a good opportunity for teachers and students to bond outside the classroom.
Her main challenge each year, she said, is finding enough work around town for students to do.
“We usually send out an email to chamber (of commerce) businesses, and I have a few that give us jobs around their businesses, but we’re always looking for jobs,” she said.
Savage said students get behind the event for the most part because of the chance it provides to give back, but it’s different for out-of-area students, such as himself.
“It’s a little different for me, I guess, than some other students because I live near Florence. Yes, I come to school here, and I come here quite often, but my actual town is Florence.”
Even so, he said he was happy with the tasks he was assigned.
“We went down to Bob Brookens’ law office and picked up some limbs and trash around his building,” Savage said. “It was good because I actually know Bob Brookens, he’s a family friend, so it was good to go down and see him and help out.”
In her last community service day, Baldwin said she was just trying to enjoy events like these as much as possible.
“I just wanna live it up because I know that I’m gonna miss it,” she said. “They don’t do this kind of stuff in college, so I have to live in the moment and soak it all up.”