ALTON — Friends of the YWCA will unite from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 8, to kick off efforts to bring new life to the historic YWCA facility.
The first objectives of the endeavor include the beautification of the YWCA grounds and renovation of the Children’s Learning Center.
Volunteers from CNB Bank, Pride Fairmount Garden Group, the Sierra Club and the National Honor Societies from Marquette Catholic and Alton high schools will help with landscaping around the facility, weeding, mowing, cleaning up and replanting garden beds, and cleaning up the children’s playground. Other community members interested in making a difference are invited to join the group at 8 a.m. Materials for the beautification project are provided with the support of the Alton Community Service League. The league’s grant and the Sierra Club’s direct assistance have made the continued expansion of the YWCA garden areas possible. Sierra Club members have designed and helped children implement butterfly and vegetable gardens already this season, are helping stabilize YWCA hillsides through plantings and helping design the future Jane and Bob Bruker Memorial Garden.
As part of this effort, local artists are leading a mural project planned for the Children’s Learning Center entry. Samantha Purcell-Blythe, Laura Blair, Chris Ilewski-Huelsmann and Jeanie Cousley are incorporating children’s silhouettes from the program into an original design for the retaining wall along Alton Street.
The organizer of Saturday’s event and lead designer for the Children’s Learning Center, YWCA board member Britta Haggard, encourages the community to join in the efforts.
“The unique heritage of the organization and our dynamic youth programming makes the YWCA a special place — we want the rest of the community to be able to see the YWCA for the treasure it is and to be able to take advantage of our service in an inspiring environment,” Haggard said. “We are reaching out to the community for help as volunteers or to help sponsor the children’s activity centers.”
For information, contact the YWCA at (618) 465-7774 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.