By Barry Dalton
FARBER – The Farber Community Betterment Association, with the help of 15-20 volunteers from the Farber Fire Department and State Farm in Columbia and Vandalia, spent Saturday, Oct. 10, beautifying the Farber Railroad Park. Volunteers scraped and painted the playground equipment, safety barriers and band stand.
“It looked like your typical, old rundown park playground,” explained Ramsey Dickerman of State Farm in Vandalia. “With some scraping and some new paint, it already looks completely different. So I think it will be enticing for kids to come and play on and an area that families can come and enjoy.”
Dickerman was invited to join the project by Karen Heaston, a State Farm employee in Columbia with Farber roots.
“I was wanting to do some volunteer work for the CIty of Farber, and I looked into a program with my employer,” Heaston said. “State Farm has a Good Neighbor Grant where if you donate 40 hours of volunteer time, it will send a monetary donation to a nonprofit of your choosing.”
By joining forces, Heaston and Dickerman are able to double State Farm’s $500 contribution once they each complete 40 hours of community service. Three additional staff members from State Farm also helped with the painting.
Other residents of Farber and family and friends with Farber roots also joined in on the project.
“Karen’s been putting a lot of work into this–it actually all happened pretty quick,” said Lisa Terry, originally of Farber. “We came here to help spruce up Farber. This is where a lot of use here today grew up.”
The Farber Volunteer Fire Department provided the paint, equipment and materials. Local resident and volunteer firefighter Harold Williams and Farber City Clerk Marie Bounds helped out as well.