The USA Days Festival parade will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18th. This year’s theme is “Honoring Community Service-Saluting “Serve the Burg”.
Bryan Hetterscheidt is the coordinator of “Serve the Burg”. Now the pastor of the Centerburg Christian Church he is retired from the Ohio State Fairgrounds so he is very familiar with setting things up, tearing things down and the like. The idea of the group originally came from the Center Point Church in 2014, which is no longer in operation.
Originally the group did something once a year, helping senior citizens with food or needed chores, helped with the car show, festivals, etc. They attended school board and council meetings for ideas. They now have 24 partners who help by donating $100 each or providing food for volunteers. The group has provided meals on wheels for one day, washed windows, raked leaves, laid mulch, painted playground equipment in the park and school, painted curbs and buildings for the village, trimmed weeds on bike trail, painted a room at the library, helped at the Shane Center for Equine Therapy, and the Senior Center, and much more. They formerly were doing four days per year, now cut to three.
Not limited to church members, through advertising they opened the opportunity for the community to join in. The first gathering had over 40 volunteers to clean rooms at the old high school, help with leaf removal in the bell park, perform trail maintenance on the Heart of Ohio Trail and aid the elderly. During the years, new alliances were made as volunteers came together to serve and identify new opportunities.
A volunteer committee represents two churches, the village of Centerburg, Centerburg School District, Damascus Youth Camp, FFA, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. It is open for any others to contribute ideas, volunteers and areas to serve.
Each event begins by volunteers gathering at the elementary school cafeteria for a continental breakfast and work assignment. Senior care has included cleaning gutters, flower beds, windows, delivering meals to 80 homes, etc. followed by a free lunch for all volunteers.
The partners in this endeavor are Hardwick Tree Service, Centerburg Village, Student Council, Damascus, Twist and Shake, Cooper Law, Air Plus, Animal Station, Back Home Cross Fit, Red Dot Bradley Shields, 1834 Midway Tavern, Scoops Burg Bakery, Interchurch, Garden Club, Park National Bank, Nationwide Insurance, Fosters Pharmacy, Long Branch, First Federal, Centerburg Christian Church, Hair of the Dog, Powelson’s Mulching, and Church of Christ.
This year’s Serve the Burg days are May 14th, August 20th and November 19th. All on Saturdays they begin at the elementary cafeteria for donuts, coffee, juice and water. They try to complete tasks by noon and gather back at the cafeteria to enjoy lunch donated by partners.
This group has certainly contributed a lot to the community and would welcome more volunteers on the above dates! They have well-earned the honor of being recognized for their service as Grand Marshall of the 2022 USA Days parade. A presentation will be made at the park following the parade.