Appreciation for young volunteers

You might recall that in the past week’s opinion column, I mentioned that some of our high school athletes help the American Legion and Sons of the American Legion members erect the flag poles and flags at Prairie Lawn Cemetery. I was hoping to help round up additional volunteers and I hoped those volunteers would be members of the next generation. Some of them were, and we thank them for their contribution.

I have not changed my mind about thinking in terms of turning occasions such as our Memorial Day celebration and the accompanying community events over to younger residents. However, since I actually did see members of that group and their own children participate in our Memorial weekend celebrations, I would like to acknowledge their willingness to step up to the plate.

The Peabody Historical Society received an offer of help from our local 4-H chapter, the Peabody Achievers, as they planned the fried chicken picnic lunch for Saturday. The intention was to hold the event in the bank park and the youngsters were scheduled to move card tables and folding chairs to the park and set them up for the meal, then take them down again when the event was over.

Somewhere in there thunderstorms, wind, hail, and flooding in Marion County complicated plans for the event and instead, the 4-H club members arrived at Peabody Township Library to move tables and chairs from a storage area into the Ann Potter room for an indoor picnic lunch. They showed up again when it was over and put everything away. What would have taken historical society board members an hour to complete, the youngsters did in minutes with smiles and enthusiasm. They rejected an offer of payment and said they liked helping and would do it again.

That got me looking at what else went on during this holiday weekend and who was involved. Apparently there really are youngsters who make it a point to be involved in projects that give back to the community. Good for them!

They were downtown Friday evening for the third annual Dale Hague Appreciation Dinner at the HUB. Students who made use of the facility when they were in high school returned to help feed those who turned out for the sloppy joe dinner. Peabody graduate Aaron Waddell gave up an evening to keep the attendees entertained with his music.

I have already mentioned the Peabody Achievers and their contribution at the historical society picnic. Another young lady, granddaughter of a historical society board member, was front and center serving homemade ice cream to those looking for a sweet treat after the meal. She recently graduated from kindergarten and this is not the first time she has been a volunteer!

At the Prairie Lawn Cemetery Memorial Day service, local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop members efficiently raised the colors to half mast and later to full mast, while members of the Peabody-Burns High School band shared special music selections and played “Taps” and “Echo Taps” during the service.

Members of the Peabody-Burns sophomore class, their parents, and sponsors served the annual Memorial Day dinner at the Brown Building. While the event is a fundraiser for the class, it also doubles as a casual come-and-go reunion for dozens of returning families and alumni. It is a great holiday tradition and takes many hands to keep it going year after year.

Thank you Peabody youngsters for all of your contributions this past weekend. We appreciate your help and we are proud of your service to this community.

— SUSAN MARSHALL

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