Fulton 6th Ward Alderman Russ Hayden says he was driving around his ward on a recent day.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He passed by Vanburen Park on the city’s north side.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Balloons tied to the side of the park’s bathroom building caught his eye.
A party was in progress.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The partiers had brought their own tables.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The building was the park’s restroom facilies. “I started thinking, the restrooms had been closed about 15 years because of continues vandalism,” said Hayden “And the way this building was built made it easy for vandals, possible drug dealing and filthy graffiti to occur.”
In shorst, the building was just taking up space.
Hayden started asking city officials whether it would be possible to make the building useful again, to convert it from a bathroom to an open pavilion, so people could have picnics there while giving police and neighbors a clear view of what was happening in the park.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â His nephew, Bill Hayden, offered to provide the labor for the job if the city would donate a truck or a dumpster for hauling away debris.
The city’s Recreation Committee visited the park for an inspection and agreed to Hayden’s plan.
On Saturday, September 27, Bill Hayden and his work crew showed up.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The building is now a pavilion, and Russ Hayden says there’s not much work left to be done.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â “The project took a huge step forward,” he said.
He asked to be able to thank the work crew by name:Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Bill Hayden, Dawson Hayden, John Brand, Chris Brand, Vincent Cappelletti and Kyle “Woodchuck” Williams.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â “I can’t thank you guys enough,” he said.
NOTE:Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â This story began with an e-mail from Alderman Hayden, seeking to thank the volunteers.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â You can help us tell your story of volunteers making a difference.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Just use our Send Us A News Story form in the Contact Us section and we’ll be able to highlight the good work done in your community, too.