Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Business

August 24, 2012

Day of Caring

United Way coordinates corporate volunteer projects

DANVILLE — More than 120 volunteers were put to work Friday as part of the annual Day of Caring organized by the United Way of Central Indiana.

Families, businesses, civic groups, and individuals came together to make a difference in the community. Several projects took place in and around Hendricks County. Two of them in Danville helped Sheltering Wings, a domestic violence shelter, and Head Start, a preschool for low income families.

Shane Alexander from Vectren helped to organize projects at Head Start in Danville, Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon, and the Boone County Senior Center in Lebanon.

At Head Start, Vectren partnered with CASE, a contractor out of Taylorsville, to help with a resurfacing and green space project. Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

“CASE is one of our contractors and they are very community minded,” Alexander said. “We’ll have about 25 people at this project today between the Vectren and CASE people.”

The workers did a resurfacing project in the playground — getting it ready for a trike path.

“We have a Girl Scout that will be painting it,” said Dedee Rhea, Head Start site manager. “We’re really excited about today for a number of reasons.”

In the center’s parking lot, volunteers cut in new green spaces.

“We’ll be planting trees,” Rhea said. “They’ll be putting rocks in and top soil — getting it ready for planting.”

The green spaces will be used as a memorial garden in honor of Diane Smeelink. She had been a teacher and then the Head Start site manager.

“She worked for Head Start from 1987 until her death in 2010,” Rhea said. “She was a dedicated and loved teacher, supervisor, mentor, and friend. She’s still missed by all the staff who had the privilege of working with her.”

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