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Volunteers Mobilize Saturday, Tackle Love Escalon Projects
Miss Congeniality Lauren Trejo, left, and Miss Escalon Madison Matsunami did some community service work at the Escalon Museum as part of the Love Escalon effort. Marg Jackson/The Times

With bright sunny skies and a bit of a breeze, conditions were picture perfect for spending a Saturday in service.

And that is just what more than 100 Escalon residents did on April 13, donating time and some muscle to the annual Love Escalon project.

Coordinator Brittany Doornenbal said there were a number of work sites this year, from the Van Allen Elementary School garden to the Escalon Animal Shelter, some private home yard work and efforts at the Escalon Library and Escalon Museum.

“The number of volunteers ended up being higher than I thought because there were people who were getting project sites ready and didn’t check in at the rally,” Doornenbal noted, with a kick off rally hosted about 8 a.m. at the Escalon Youth Center.

She added that a total of 140 coupons for personal size D’Boni’s pizzas were handed out, so the work day brought in at least that many volunteers.

“I’m very excited, it has grown since the last year and we want to keep up that momentum,” Doornenbal explained. “Online, I believe we had around 60 sign up but today we have more coming in.”

Project leaders stood with their signs, so those that signed up for specific efforts could join their team. The Escalon High School band performed a couple of songs, there was a prayer, a couple of guest speakers and then it was off to the sites.

The Edsberg family joined in to help wash school buses, with mom and dad Kourtni and Eric on hand along with son Tobin. The three-year-old wielded a scrub brush to help out, doing his part.

“This is our first year,” Kourtni said. “We moved here two years ago and we just want to be a part of the community.”

At Van Allen, members of the Jackson Avenue Church created quite a workforce, including Jo Armstrong, hard at work along with friend Debbie Moore from the Escalon-Farmington Garden Club. Moore said the garden was developed by Joe Coelho, but she enjoys working there as well.

The Poovey family also was there, including 10-year-old Eva, who was helping Armstrong get rid of some of the weeds in the garden, giving the plants more room to grow.

At the Escalon Library, Miss Escalon Madison Matsunami and Miss Congeniality Lauren Trejo were handling a number of cleaning and organizing projects, along with several other volunteers at the site.

“I love how the community comes together,” Matsunami said of the work day.

Overall, Doornenbal said the Love Escalon effort was a success, in terms of volunteers turning out and projects completed.

“We are always open to project ideas for next year, they can be submitted on our website,” Doornenbal said.

Project leaders hold up their signs, as those that signed up for specific projects looked for their group. Marg Jackson/The Times
Even the youngest volunteers could lend a helping hand on Saturday, with three-year-old Tobin Edsberg helping out here by scrubbing an Escalon school bus for the Love Escalon work day. Marg Jackson/The Times