By Jordan Puckett
On April 26, members of the Torch Club of New Richmond cleaned up the Plum Street Park. Children volunteered to mulch the park and clean the graffiti to make it a fun, safe place to play.
The Torch Club is a group leadership and service program offered at the Boys and Girls Club. Members of the program develop service projects to help out the community.
Three of the Torch Club’s most active members, Maleigha Henderson, Fausta Fenner, and Brooklyn Lanter, were present at the May 14 New Richmond Village Council meeting, along with program director Jamie Little. During the meeting, the girls were commended for their work on the park.
“We chose to help out the park because a lot of kids like to go there…but now, a lot of kids can’t go there because there are bad words on the slides and broken glass and weeds,” said 10-year-old Henderson.
“There were a lot of weeds and graffiti. We wanted to mulch and clean,” said nine-year-old Fenner. “We want to have fun in the park.”
The park is known to many local children as “The Yellow Park.” The cleanup of this playground was one of many service projects put on by the Torch Club. Past projects have included planting flowers at the school administration building, hosting a dinner for the New Richmond fire department, and raising money for Children’s Hospital. They are currently collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
The Boys and Girls Club, formally founded in 1906, is a program aimed at helping children become successful adults. Their mission statement, taken from the BGC website, is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.”
“Our programs include homework help, fitness and recreation, healthy lifestyles as well as programs that have emphasis on the arts,” Little said.
The Torch Club has been part of the Boys and Girls Club for the past couple years. The program is aimed at children who wish to be more involved in their community.
“They might be small, but they are pretty mighty,” Little said of the three girls present at the meeting. “I think I’ve just seen the beginning of what they can do.”