Volunteers make cleanup a success in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA – It was one of thousands held that day, and it was a success.

Last week, volunteers from Columbiana and Comcast worked together to add beauty to an already beautiful community park.

Volunteers spent the morning hours cleaning, painting, planting and landscaping within the 68-acres of the Harvey S. Firestone Park just outside the heart of downtown.

Park Manager Terry Shaffer said he is pleased with the effort. Between Columbiana and Comcast about 100 people worked on improving the park, he said.

Volunteers completed several general clean-up tasks, but Shaffer said the two main projects were the special events gazebo and mulching around Pavilion no. 1.

A new coat of brown and white paint was applied to the gazebo, which Shaffer said had not been painted since an Eagle Scout project about eight years ago.

The volunteer effort benefited the city in another way as well. As part of its annual Comcast Cares Day, the global media company agreed to donate money to the Columbiana Restoration, Renovation and Beautification Committee (RR&B).

Monday donated by the Comcast Foundation is based on how many local volunteers participated, and Shaffer said he is expecting to find out the exact figure later this week. The money has already been targeted for landscaping improvements along South Main Street.

Before the event, Shaffer said Comcast was willing to donate $17 to $20 for each volunteer.

Comcast’s Keystone Region Senior Vice President Jim Samaha said in a press release the company was “honored” to partner with the city’s RR&B Committee on the effort.

He added the hard work and time volunteers commit to the effort is inspiring and makes a difference in the lives of others.

“I am thankful to all of our participants,” he said.

Similar efforts were held across the nation and even in London, England, on Saturday as part of Comcast and NBCUniversal’s signature day of service. Comcast Cares Day began in 2001 and is the largest single-day corporate volunteer effort, according to the release.

The Columbiana effort was one of more than 600 held across the United States, and the company anticipated more than 70,000 volunteers participated in the combined efforts.

“It turned out really well. We want to thank Comcast for what they did, and all of the volunteers too,” Shaffer said.

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corp. in June of 1999 for the purpose of providing charitable support of qualified non-profit organizations. Since its inception more than $123 million has been donated to organizations nationwide that seek to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities, according to the release.

The RR&B Committee is a 501c3 non-profit and can accept donations at any time.

Roger Crowell, committee president, has said about $6,000 to $7,000 is needed for the South Main Street landscaping.