Kain Quintanilla, 13, rakes an Ortonville yard during Rocking and Raking on Saturday. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
By David Fleet
From a community project on the verge of collapse to a stellar response from more than 100 volunteers—the 14th annual Rocking and Raking swept through area neighborhoods taking the remains of winter out in bags.
“We have a great community,” said Kim Zernec, St. Anne youth minister and Rocking and Raking coordinator. “This was absolutely the best project ever. It’s a win-win—great for families and the kids and right now we are ready for next year.”
Earlier this year Township Clerk Candee Allen put out a plea to save the 1-day event in which volunteers do various yard work chores for senior citizens and disabled adults and her call was answered. A committee was formed consisting of Allen, as well as Colleen Collins, Sharon Gibbons, Nate Odinga, Jayson Rumball and Kim Zernec, who organized sponsors, volunteers, and compiled a list of 50 individuals in the community that needed help.
“From four churches to two local scout troops to families and their children—the response was just overwhelming— everyone went above and beyond,” added Zernec. “The key to the success was everyone had one task to do and they delivered. The sponsors came through for lunch and materials such as cleaning supplies.”
The work to be performed include cleaning of flowerbeds, raking of leaves and/or gravel, removal of twigs and branches, moving and/or cleaning of patio furniture, as well as outdoor washing of main floor windows.
Senior citizens ages 62 years and older and disabled adults of any age were assisted with chores. There was no cost to the homeowners and a luncheon was provided to volunteers.