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Volunteers sought to help show Ripon a little love

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POSTED April 18, 2013 1:32 a.m.

Chuck Winn is encouraging young people to become part of ‘Love Ripon’ on April 27.

The Vice Mayor gave the invite to those Ripon High students attending Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting.

“I know many of you are busy (on the weekends),” he said. “But to take time and help out – it’s your (chance to make it a) legacy and part of your heritage.”

Winn noted that a majority of the folks involved in this endeavor are products of the Ripon area churches. Service organizations and individuals also get involved in the three hours of work to be done on this day.

“This affects and impacts our residents, from the youngest to the oldest,” Winn added.

“I’ve been involved (in ‘Love Ripon’) and found it to be very rewarding,” Mayor Dean Uecker said.

Councilman Elden ‘Red’ Nutt agreed. “While work was not meant to be fun, I found it to a great time, especially getting to meet people and talking,” he said.

 This year, ‘Love Ripon’ kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Community Center, 334 W. Fourth St. with a short presentation.

Volunteers will then meet with their program coordinator and will go from there to handle various jobs around town.

Some of the projects are kid-friendly.

“All you really need is a kind heart and a willingness to serve,” Winn said.

Some of the work includes cooking and / or baking for the city workers, fire fighters or police; serving lunch to seniors; getting involved in the animal shelter ‘Project Day’; assisting in football stadium improvements; painting the Cornerstone Country Preschool; and painting and doing improvements to Acacia Park.

About a year ago, Ripon first took part in the event modeled after “Love Modesto.”

 In 2009, an estimated 1,200 people displayed their love for Modesto, which, years earlier, had been on one of the “worse cities in America” lists. Couple that with religious leaders responding to the question “what if our churches were to suddenly disappear from the Modesto area, would anyone even care or notice?”

It wasn’t long before Ripon, Escalon, Ceres, Oakdale, Tracy and Stockton followed Modesto by joining in the “Love” movement.

For more information, log on to www.loveripon.com.

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