Union High School athletes generously dedicated their time and effort to beautify the roundabout at Independence Drive and West Main Street on Friday, July 28. Spearheaded by the city of Union's parks and street departments, approximately 25 dedicated athletes participated in the community project.
With unwavering commitment, the student-athletes rolled up their sleeves and got to work, spreading mulch and rocks around the roundabout. The initiative was the brainchild of Matt Fennessey, the esteemed girls soccer coach at Union High School.
He contacted Union Parks Director, Chad Pohlmann, seeking support for the roundabout improvements. Pohlmann was thrilled to have the athletes' assistance, recognizing the immense value of volunteer groups in easing the city's operational workload.
He emphasized encouraging young individuals to give back to their community, nurturing them into responsible citizens. The athletes' involvement in the project extended beyond the roundabout itself. Under the guidance of Patrick Rapert, the district's athletic director, another group of youngsters took on the task of painting at the high school.
Nearly 45 athletes participated in this commendable endeavor, exemplifying the spirit of teamwork and community service.
Community-Centered Sports Tradition
Coach Fennessey spoke of the long-standing tradition of Union's sports programs engaging in community-oriented initiatives.
Each year, Union's coaches strive to find meaningful ways for their athletes to contribute to the community that consistently supports them during sporting events. The roundabout improvement project represents a collaborative effort among coaches, players, and local authorities, committed to sharing the responsibilities to ensure the roundabout remains well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing.
When asked about the motivation behind the project, Fennessey humorously remarked, "Have you driven by it? It needed assistance!" Recognizing the significance of the parks department's contributions to the community's youth, Fennessey reached out to Pohlmann, who wholeheartedly embraced the idea.
With the backing of the city, the project gathered momentum, and the collaborative efforts of coaches and players brought it to fruition. While the recent roundabout improvements are noteworthy, Fennessey emphasized that this is just the beginning.
The athletes and coaches are committed to keeping the area looking attractive and well-kept in the long run. Furthermore, Union has been fortunate to receive support from the community in maintaining another roundabout located at Prairie Dell and Denmark roads, near East Central College.
Collaborating with the Franklin County Master Gardeners and East Central College, the city ensures that this roundabout also remains a visual delight. The heartwarming efforts of Union's student-athletes demonstrate the power of coming together as a community, making a positive impact, and fostering a sense of civic responsibility among the younger generation.
Through their selfless dedication, these athletes have left an indelible mark on Union's landscape, setting a shining example for others to follow.