Volunteers and donors make a difference

What kind of impact can 50-plus volunteers and hundreds of generous donors make in a community?  Hettinger residents can look around and see for themselves! 

Kerri Howard
For The Record

For the Beauty of Hettinger has wrapped up another season of growing, watering, planting and pruning, and thanks to hundreds of hours of volunteer labor and thousands of dollars in donations, the town looked fantastic.

Perhaps the BOH’s most noticeable projects — the hanging flower baskets and Centennial Park on Main Street — are also the most labor intensive.  It takes two large crews of dedicated workers to keep these two projects looking nice throughout the growing season.

“They volunteer because they love helping out,” Kaye McIntyre said of the dozens of volunteers who commit to watering and weeding.  McIntyre is a BOH board member and founding member.  “They’re eager — they weren’t begged to do what they do!  They’re ardent people who take their turns and provide beauty to the community, and they do it faithfully.”

What people may not know is that BOH was also responsible for planting most of the trees on Main Street about 6 years ago, and volunteers continue to water and prune them.  The Main Street tree project has added shade, color and shape to Hettinger’s downtown scene.

Tucked into a less conspicuous spot is another major BOH project — the Western Horizons Care Center’s enclosed west-side garden.  This garden makes flowers and beauty accessible even to care center residents who are not able to leave the facility.   

“They just love it,” said Phyllis Andress, activity aide.  “It’s a round path so they can take their wheelchairs around and get some sunshine and get their exercise.  They identify (the different flowers) and it’s good memory exercise.  And because it’s a locked court, our Alzheimers patients can be out there and we know they’re not going to wander away.  It’s been such an awesome thing for us.”

The WHCC garden was funded generously by several local organizations, including For The Beauty of Hettinger, The Community Clothes Closet, Hettinger Jaycees and West River Health Services Auxiliary.  It is maintained by volunteers, including care center residents and their families.

Equally important as the workers are the givers who fund these projects.  The annual spring membership drive consistently raises around $7000 for beautification projects.

“We get most of our donations in $25 increments, so I think that tells us that the community appreciates the beautiful areas and upkeep,” said BOH president Jackie Hedstrom.  “Some of these people give us $25 — that’s a lot for them!  I just think it’s neat that people with limited funds still give us a little bit.  It’s all appreciated.”

Many local businesses also pledge support.

For the Beauty of Hettinger board members would like to thank the community for its exuberant support.  The BOH looks forward to bringing color and charm to the town again next growing season.

For more information about BOH or to volunteer, contact president Jackie Hedstrom at 605-564-2620.