Variety of local groups ready to #039;Make a Difference#039;

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

From Union Township to Coal Grove to Aid to Ironton, numerous Lawrence County residents will step forward Saturday with their contributions toward making the world a better place, one neighborhood at a time.

The local observances of national Make A Difference Day will feature a

variety of community projects, all aimed at promoting community service.

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In Ironton, the Kiwanis Club will make the first floor of the Ironton City Center a community gathering spot with its annual read-a-thon and health awareness fair. King's Daughters Medical Center will offer health screenings, South Point dentist, Dr. Hal Jeter will provide teeth impressions for children's identification kits and The Lawrence County Health Department will offer eye screenings and information on its smoking cessation classes. A number of local groups will have informational booths, among them: the Social Security Administration, Ironton Police Department, Hope's Place, Pathways and Ironton-Lawrence County Head Start. Each child who involved in the read-a-thon will receive a free book. Bubbles the clown and his pal, Kenny will greet those who attend. The city center festivities are from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Members of the Boy Scout Troop 38 in Proctorville will join with other eastern county organizations in a clean-up project at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery on State Route 775.

"The pastor came to one of our meetings and asked invited us to come and help," assistant troop leader Mark Sexton said. "This is our first experience with it (Make A Difference Day). Our troop is only about 2 years old and I really wasn't aware of what it was. I thought it might be a local event and then I found out later it was a national one."

Sexton said the boys will help clean underbrush from the graveyard and in the process, he hopes the project evokes a sense of community pride in the young men. "I think they'll get a sense of responsibility and see that they can do something to help the community, and that's our basic goal: to teach some kind of responsibility."

Coal Grove Church of the Nazarene will again offer a community event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free clothing will be given away, lunch will be served, children may take part in face painting, and there will also be diabetic and blood pressure checks. Flu shots will be given from 9 to 11 a.m., but only to high risk

people; over 65; pregnant women; chronic diseases. There will be no charge for Medicaid or Medicare patients;

the cost is $15 for others.

VFW Post 8850 and Ladies Auxiliary will have a "Make a Difference Day" spaghetti dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is a donation of a can of food, which will be given to the Ironton City Mission. Jerry Miller, VFW Post 8850 senior vice-commander said that last year, nearly 300 cans of food were donated to the city mission.

"It's a friendly opportunity for everyone to come and have a good meal and help the community by donating a food item so others can eat," Miller said. "I feel that this gets everyone involved, and it shows that everyone can make a difference

even with this little thing they do."

At Symmes Valley High School, members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America started their Make A Difference Day contribution a little early: on Tuesday, the club members began a penny drive. The money collected will go to an area domestic violence shelter.

"We wanted to pick something that other people don't think of," club president Amanda Allen explained. "We hope this makes a difference for someone. That's our goal."

Allen said more than $100 had been raised through Thursday. The penny drives continued through noon today.