There are brand new sidewalks and streetlights along Old Shell Road leading to Lavretta Park, thanks to the hard work of children and volunteers with the Village of Spring Hill Organization. Last year, hundreds of people participated in the first "Village of Spring Hill Sidewalk-A-Thon, and raised $20,000 to start building three blocks of sidewalk. The organization also secured grant money from local foundations and corporations to complete the three blocks. The event was such a success, the group has taken on an even loftier fundraising goal of $30,000 for the second annual Sidewalk-A-Thon which will take place on Friday, April 26th.
Students from several local schools are helping raise money. News Five talked to St. Paul's 5th graders, Matt Russell, Christopher Bowen, and Ross Carley. Carley says he has already raised around $800. Bowen says, "We are going door to door asking people to donate money to put sidewalks in Spring Hill in the Lavretta park area." Russell looks forward to April 26th, to take part in his first Sidewalk-A-Thon.
Volunteer Susan Carley says she is extremely proud of the hard work of the entire community to raise funds to build the sidewalks. She says the sidewalks have transformed the community. She says, "They are expensive. The city can't afford to pay for them. We have asked for state support. Maybe the funds will be there in the future, but right now the funds are not there. We want to do it ourselves. We want our kids to enjoy the park, be able to walk to school, improve their health, and our health. We are raising the money ourselves." Carley says each block of sidewalk costs about $20,000. The goal is to eventually build sidewalks along both sides of Old Shell Road, from Lavretta Park all the way to McGregor Avenue, at a total cost of about $200,000.
The Sidewalk-A-Thon is taking place April 26th. The starting line party begins at the Moorer Branch Library at 3PM. Children and volunteers will walk a mile to Lavretta Park. At 4PM, a huge post-walk party begins with food and live entertainment from Sunnyside Theatre. There will be a wine tasting for adults at 6PM, and a showing of Disney's The Lion King at 6PM as well.