GREENVILLE — Sometimes, finding a few “hidden treasures” can lift our spirits and restore a sense of childlike wonder to the rigmarole of daily life. This week, two local youth organizations teamed up to beautify Greenville City Park and hopefully, make someone’s day a little brighter in the process.
On Tuesday, June 30, members of the Greenville Kiwanis Aktion Club and Darke County’s We Are the Majority met at the Greenville City Park’s outdoor shelter for a morning of art, fun, and friendship, Even though the summer temperatures were hot and humid, enthusiasm and creativity were celebrated by all in attendance.
Joined by local Greenville artists, Peggy Goodpaster and Terry Robbins, Aktion Club and We Are the Majority decorated each rock with bright colors, words of kindness, and a special message on the bottom.
Goodpaster, who retired in 2019 from the Greenville City Schools Guidance Office and is well-known around town as the “Rock Painting Lady,” invited summer camp participants to choose a rock, study its shape and size, pick up a brush, and imagine something fun to paint on it. Robbins, also locally known for her colorful, artistic face-painting designs at First Friday events downtown, helped camp artists see each rock as a “mini-canvas” upon which to compose an inspiring message or create an uplifting picture.
“It’s your own creativity,” said Goodpaster. “Paint something that would make someone smile when they pick it up…really brighten their day!”
Aktion Club also wish to encourage residents with messages of kindness – part of their club’s theme for 2021, ‘Kindness Matters.’ Each rock has a note on the bottom which reads: “Find Us on Facebook at Darke DD. Take a picture and Tag Us. Keep Me or Re-hide me. Have Fun and Be Kind.”
“In keeping with the Kiwanis family organization’s focus of serving the children of the world, Aktion Club members thought it would be fun to paint rocks with messages of kindness,” said Sue Huston, co-advisor of the Greenville Aktion Club. “It is great to be working together with We Are the Majority.”
With each newfound “hidden treasure,” the Aktion Club hopes to connect with the community in a positive, innovative way. Sue Huston and Cheryl Pressly, employed by Darke DD, co-advise the club, which formed in 2016 and currently has 52 members.
Darke County’s We Are the Majority were excited to participate in the project, which supports its mission to encourage and provide leadership opportunities for Darke County youth.
“We appreciate any opportunity to partner with other like-minded organizations,” said Kelly Harrison, Darke County’s We Are the Majority. “We are very fortunate to be able to connect with Sue Huston and the Greenville Aktion Club. The theme of kindness is important because we definitely need more of it in this world.”
Harrison, a prevention specialist at Recovery and Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio, helped organize the Darke County chapter of We Are the Majority in 2016, an after-school leadership program that encourages young people to live drug, alcohol and tobacco-free lives, and is open to open to all Darke County high school and middle school students. Throughout the school year, WATM has chapters at Tri-Village, Greenville, Franklin Monroe, Versailles, Ansonia and Mississinawa Valley schools.
WATM Summer Fundays are still available with activities and pool time. To connect with We Are the Majority, or learn more about the upcoming Majority events, find them on Facebook, or call Kelly Harrison, Ashley Stonerock, or Julia McCullough, via the Recovery and Wellness Center at 937-548-6842.
To find out more about the Greenville Kiwanis, or the Aktion Club, contact Sue Huston, Darke DD, at 937-459-4629.