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Volunteers turn up for I Love West Jordan Day

Jun 05, 2017 03:08PM ● Published by Natalie Conforto

Jonas Clifford helps his team spread soft fall at the Oaks East Park. (Mandy Clifford)

Gallery: Volunteers turn up for I Love West Jordan Day [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Natalie Conforto  Natalie.C@mycityjournals.com
 
Despite the wet and stormy week, hundreds of West Jordan residents showed up to help beautify the city for this year’s I Love West Jordan Day. April 29 dawned gray and misty, but these folks were willing to work outside. By the time the work was underway, the volunteers were rewarded with sunshine.
 
Public works employees, firefighters, police officers, EMTs and Exchange Club members were among the first arrivals. Copper Hills High School cheerleaders, high school bands, local Scout troops, youth service units and church groups also came to do their part.
 
Volunteers met at West Jordan City Hall’s parking lot where each received a red “I [heart] WJ” shirt and an assignment—either there at Veterans Memorial Park, or at any of the other city parks within West Jordan. Twenty-four parks had a new load of “soft fall” (playground wood chips) delivered for volunteers to spread. Before dispersing to job sites, workers were offered grab-and-go breakfast items while Alt 101.9 radio station played tunes from a loudspeaker.
 
Ben Perry, Scoutmaster from Troop 1510, brought 11 work-gloved Scouts to labor at the Veterans Memorial Park. This was their third year participating in the citywide day of service, and Perry said they were ready “to do whatever the park needs us to do.” He mentioned that in previous years, the troop planted trees, spread mulch, laid sod and painted bleachers.
 
Teenager Exandria Tanner was there with her LDS church ward, huddling together in the morning wind. She also came to work at last year’s service event and remembers “running around and cleaning up the park.” Her group brought shovels, rakes and gloves to help spruce up the area again.
 
Along with the warm fuzzies that come from helping others, volunteers also received free lunch. Sam’s Club, Pizza Pie Café, Jersey Mike’s, Costco and Tamale Tita’s all sponsored I Love West Jordan Day this year by delivering meals to each work site. University Credit Union donated the T-shirts; West Jordan Raw Bean brought the coffee, and City Journals provided the breakfast.
 
Some volunteers, however, didn’t receive any of the extra perks. Mandy Clifford was helping at a youth fundraiser at her neighborhood park on the morning of the city cleanup event. She noticed kids jumping into a large pile of wood chips and saw a sign posted that designated the Oaks East Park as an I Love WJ Day location.
 
“I put two and two together that those wood chips were probably meant for the service project,” Clifford said. “I felt bad because our fundraiser was dominating that park.”
 
Clifford then called City Hall and offered to organize a group to complete the task, and her offer was gladly accepted. She posted on Facebook to invite neighbors for a Monday night service project; several families showed up. The volunteers brought shovels and rakes and had the “soft fall” spread out within 45 minutes.
 
Clifford was delighted with the turnout.
 
“It was so rewarding,” she said. “I loved how much support we had on such short notice. It shows that the people that live in West Jordan truly care about our community.”
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