LIMA — The Lima Kiwanis Club has carried the tradition of cleaning Lincoln Park for five years. Candace Newland said the tradition began simple enough.
The pastor at Forest Park United Methodist Church approached the Kiwanis Club and asked for help cleaning up the park.
“We thought, ‘Wow what a great idea,’” Lima Kiwanis president Candace Newland said. “We have been doing it ever since.”
The Kiwanis Club teamed with the Aktion Club of Allen County, the Builders Clubs of North and South schools, and the K-Kids Clubs of Independence, Heritage, and Unity schools and members of the Forest Park United Methodist Church to clean Lincoln Park on Saturday.
The Lima Kiwanis Club participates annually as its contribution to Kiwanis One Day. The day is a international observance for Kiwanis in which they team up with organizations it supports to improve their community.
“We are fortunate to have very nice parks in Lima,” Newland said. “This helps in keeping them cleaned up.”
Newland said that children learn several valuable lessons.
“It shows children the value of community service,” she said. “It also shows them about team work. The kids learned to divide into teams and some of them did trash pick up and others did limp pick up. They learn to work together.”
About 40 people turned out to volunteer at the event. The Key Club in Lima supported by the Kiwanis Club also held a Dance-A-Thon as an added dimension of observing Kiwanis One Day. Newland said the clubs also have great impact in the community.
“The Builders Club helped collect toilet paper,” she said. “They also teamed together to adopt a dog from the Humane Society. The K-Kids bought instruments for their school bands and cards for residents in the nursing home. These are the kind of organizations we like to support.”
Newland said it was the largest turnout of volunteers they have had in the five years of the event. Among the volunteers was 3-year old Zaiden Clay, who was helping out his two cousins. Zaiden was frequently diverted by a quick ride on the swing or climb on the jungle gym, but still found plenty of time to pitch in picking up limbs.
“It was fun,” Zaiden said.