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Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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February 1, 2012     The New Era Paper
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February 1, 2012
 

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Page I 0 Vt J cM MI JNITV :h* * "r - February 1,2012 Beautification Committee celebrates community facelifi By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era The Sweet Home Beautifica- tion Committee honored Sweet Home volunteers with a volunteer appreciation dinner on Jan. 19. The committee, an all-volun- teer organization, maintains the median strips throughout town solely through volunteer time. It also maintains numerous other flowers throughout the city and at the entrances. "We couldn't do it without you guys," Craig Martin, a member of the committee, told those gathered at Thursday's dinner at Fir Lawn Lutheran Church. As city manag- er, he received a call from "Good Morning America," which wants to interview him and Mayor Craig Fentiman for a segment on small towns, he said. The producer told him he would be talking about what makes Sweet Home such a special place to live, Martin said looking at all of the volunteers gathered at the dinner. "I really just truly wish they could just be here right now. That's what it is about Sweet Home." Economic Development Di- rector Brian Hoffman said that volunteerism is why he decided to take his job here. This group of volunteers does important work for economic de- velopment too, Hdffman told the volunteers. He thought about the meaning of beautification, what it is, what comes to mind about it. It's photo ops, he said. It's educating the community about Photos by Sean C. Morgan Oregon Bill (aka Rod Fielder) of Brownsville describes life as a child growing up in a 1930s logging community. Gail McCammon, right, presents a $300 check on behalf of the Sweet Home Garden Club to Alice Grovom, who spearheaded the formation of the Beautification Committee. the image it wants to project. It's hard work. Around the room, volunteers said it softens the appearance, it's stewardship of God's beautiful world, and it's working with other folks and making friends. One volunteer talked about a friend from Portland who drives down Main Street before head- ing back down Long Street to the volunteer's house when she visits. There isn't anything like Sweet Home where she is from, and she enjoys the pleasant feeling and colors. People driving through have even stopped at The New Era and asked who they should call to thank for the work, said Alice Grovom, who organized the Beautification Committee several years ago. "It changed the looks of the community," Grovom said. "When we are working out there, they stop and say thank you." "Your hard work is really mak- ing a difference," Hoffman said, and his list of what beautification means barely touches the surface of what the committee and its vol- unteers do in this community. It definitely touches on his work, he said. When helping plan a tour for the new medical school staff, he suggested holding off the tour until the flower baskets were hanging because they add so much to Sweet Home's image. "My decision to come to Sweet Home was because of the volun- teerism," Hoffman said. "Things happen in Sweet Home because of volunteers. It takes a passionate person to make a difference. The Beautification Committee is prob- ably the best example of it in the community." Photos by Scott Swanson Winter choir performance Sweet Home's school choirs put on their winter performance Thurs- day evening, Jan. 26, featuring the largest number of singers in recent memory. Above, Men's Ensemble members, from left, Sam Woosley, Cole Thompson and Sean Patton sing "A'Rovin'" while, at right, the Eighth Grade Choir, led by Director Matthew Clark, right, basks in applause after "Cantate Hodie t'' To see more concert photos, visit the Choir photo gallery at sweethomenews.com. Above, Symphonic Choir members, from left, Faith Harvey, AnneMarie Miller, Kaitlyn Lucero and Shio Harada sing "Calling My Children Home." At left, Soundcheck 49, the chamber ensemble, perform. *