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Mormons lend helping hands to spruce up 13 city parks
Dana Stokes readies a paint bin for the Mormon Helping Hand Service Project Saturday morning at Shasta Park. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Not even the sheer size of Shasta Park was enough to discourage a group of Lathrop-based Latter-day Saints from doing their part to spruce it up.

Nearly a hundred members of the Lathrop Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned out en masse Saturday morning to tackle everything from painting each of the pylons that secures the chain around the park to picking up trash inside of the heavily-used community jewel. Shasta was one of 13 municipal parks that Mormon volunteers spruced up Saturday.

According to project chairman Dana Stokes, the Mormon Helping Hand Service Project is a chance to allow church members to get out and make a difference in the community – allowing everybody to take pride in the recreational opportunities that residents have.

“We care about our families, or kids, and our neighborhoods, and this is something that we do to serve our community,” Stokes said. “We’re part of this community and we love everybody here, and this is a chance to show that and help clean it up at the same time.”

Volunteers started just before 9 a.m. with the preparation necessary for painting the dozens of white concrete pylons while groups started scouring the park for errant garbage and trash that never ended up in waste containers.

And they did a whole lot more than just touch up the pylons that surround the park.

Starting near the school on Edison Street, the contingency worked their way all the way down and around the corner and down the full-length of Placer Avenue to complete the project.

In the eyes of volunteer Theresa Miller, the work wasn’t so much work as it was a chance to do something positive in the community.

“It brings us back to the grass roots style of helping out in our communities,” she said. “We all have a chance to help and a chance to give back, and when we do that it makes it a better world for all of us to live in.”