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Local Volunteers Love Escalon
Community volunteer Julie Marconett focuses her efforts on painting a new hopscotch course for Dent Elementary students during Saturdays Love Escalon work day. Marg Jackson/The Times


Painting, patrolling neighborhoods seeking donations of canned goods, helping with yardwork, bringing a smile to a shut-in … all were on the agenda for Saturday’s Love Escalon effort.

It can be classified as a mission accomplished.

Dozens of volunteers spread out throughout the community, tackling projects ranging from painting new ‘four square’ games on the pavement at Dent Elementary School to knocking on doors seeking canned and boxed food items to take to the local C.A.R.E. emergency food cupboard.

Volunteers gathered first at Trinity Church, had a brief rally, then joined their team leaders to go to their project sites. Along with the in-town activities, there was also some work done in outlying areas, including at Van Allen Elementary School and clean up and maintenance work at the city’s Animal Shelter off River Road.

Many of the projects were family friendly, allowing parents and children to work side by side in contributing to the community.

At Trinity, several helpers were busy cataloging grocery items to bag up and distribute to those residents living at Escalon’s Heritage House senior citizen complex, part of the ‘Groceries of Love’ effort.

The work day started about 9 a.m. and most crews had completed their tasks by noon, getting the work done before temperatures started to climb into the 80s. There was plenty of elbow grease utilized and many projects were done quickly and efficiently with so many hands willing to help, said organizers.

The Love Escalon project has been going strong for a few years, patterned after the Love Modesto effort that has sparked similar community volunteerism work days around the Central Valley. Along with Modesto and Escalon, there were work crews aiding their neighbors in Love Oakdale and Love Riverbank events on Saturday as well.

Among the volunteers on Saturday was Julie Marconett, helping out at Dent Elementary along with son David. They were working on painting a new hopscotch course.

“I just like helping out,” Julie said.

As did son David, whose bright red T-shirt proudly asked the question: “How Can I Help You?”

In Escalon, volunteers found many answers to that question on Saturday … and filled as many requests as possible.