Volunteers are being sought to help plan locally for Make A Difference Day.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- To Stephanie Shaw, image is everything.
At least as far as her community is concerned.
That's why, she said, she agreed to head up a committee that's trying to beautify Warren.
Shaw is public affairs manager for Sprint's South Street office.
She was raised in Warren and says her membership with Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce led to her involvement with the committee.
About 10 people on the committee identify the aesthetic needs of the city and try to make it more presentable.
A meeting will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 3 at DiLucia's on Elm Road to amass volunteers to make Warren beautiful on Make A Difference Day.
To make reservations for the event, call Sandy Homrighouse at the chamber's Warren office at (330) 392-6140, ext. 10.
Eligible for awards: The national Make A Difference Day is Oct. 27, and those who send in entry forms to the organization are eligible for a national or local award and for a cash donation to a charitable cause.
Also, every award recipient will appear in USA Weekend magazine and on makeadifferenceday.com.
Judges, who include actor Paul Newman, will select 10 projects for the national Make A Difference Day awards.
Shaw said the event in Warren begins with a rally in Courthouse Square, and people will then spread out across the city, doing things such as collecting trash and cutting trees and shrubbery.
Keeping Warren beautiful is important for the people who live here, the visitors who come here and in instances when, say, the chamber gives business tours in the city, Shaw said.
Marge Haley, director of programs for the chamber, said the committee is a branch of the Warren Area Council, which is an arm of the chamber.
If Warren Image Committee is successful in its efforts for Make A Difference Day, Haley said, the chamber may encourage other communities to establish similar programs.
Because first perception is so important, Haley said, communities like Warren need to project an image of pride and success.
Needing attention: Warren Image Committee identified some of the city's main access points that need continued attention because they are heavily traveled.
They include portions of Elm Road, East Market Street, Parkman Road and Tod Avenue.
"Instead of just seeing the 'Welcome to Warren' signs, [motorists] will now be able to see shrubbery and seasonal flowers," Shaw said.
Mayor Hank Angelo came up with the idea for the Oct. 3 meeting to generate interest among civic groups and other organizations for Make A Difference Day, Shaw said.
Angelo is encouraging citizens to "come forward and show pride in their community."
City council members will pick spots in their neighborhoods that need to be cleaned up, and Angelo said groups will focus on public and private spots for beautification.
If residents have complaints about conditions of private property, they're asked to contact the city at (330) 841-2603 so the city can get a work agreement to go on the property, Angelo said.
"It's a good project," Shaw said. "If I want to live in this area, I think I should support it."