Community groups will #039;Make a Difference#039; Saturdayquot;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

They will serve lunches, pass out trick or treat goodies, read to children and maybe even mow a lawn or two. And in so doing, they hope to keep alive the spirit of volunteerism. Several local groups will take part Saturday in the annual national "Make A Difference Day."

Members of the Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene will hand out free lunches and free clothing from

10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. The church's pastor, the Rev. Ed Myers, said health professionals from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will also provide free health screenings. Flu shots will be available for $15- free for people who are Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

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Myers said if the weather permits, church members will do yard work for a couple of area families.

The church is also collecting pop pull tabs for a local cancer center and unused eyeglasses, which will be sent to needy people overseas.

"This is a means of reaching out to the community," Myers said. "This is a way for the church to say 'we care.' We want people in the community to know there are people out there who do care about them."

Again this year, the Ironton City Center will be transformed into a hub of learning. The Adult Basic and Literacy Education and the Ironton Kiwanis Club will sponsor a Read-a-thon and Youth Health Fair from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Ironton Catholic Community will conduct the read-a-thon, and readers are urged to donate a new or gently used book that can be used in the literacy program. Students aged 7-12 will take turns reading stories for a half-hour each.

Jane Rudmann, director of religious education for the Ironton Catholic Community, said

she hopes that the children who come and have a story read to them will walk away with a fascination for books and a lifelong love of learning. And she hopes that the students will volunteer their time to read to others will have a deeper understanding of service to the community.

"That's always our goal as teachers and directors of education: that we would help to make a difference in their (students') lives and that they in turn make a difference in someone else's life."

King's Daughters Medical Center representatives will provide free preventive medical information and some healthy refreshments. Early Head Start will offer face painting, the Lawrence County Health Department will offer eye screening, finger-printing and other screenings and Dr. Hal Jeter will offer free dental screenings.

Also Saturday, members of the Ironton Junior High School Kids care Club will visit area hospitals and give Trick or Treat goody bags to children who are patients. The club is also giving goody bags to the residents of Jo-Lin Health Center and Bryant Health Center.