Archived Story

Community steps up

Published 9:14am Thursday, June 19, 2014

While it may hardly be news to many, the generosity of the Dowagiac community never ceases to impress.

Over the past several weeks, men and women across the city have contributed their time, attention and money to two notable projects: the Russom Park playground and the Fourth of July Fireworks.

On Friday and Saturday, more than 20 volunteers grabbed hammers, mallets and shovels to help put together the new playground equipment at the park. Despite the warm temperatures, they all decided to take what little time they could spare to help build something that the children throughout the region will be able to enjoy.

It wasn’t just one dedicated group of people sweating it out. There were teenagers from the local youth baseball and soccer teams, elected city officials, local police and firefighters and others, ranging across all age groups.

Organizers with the city and Silver Creek Township must have been impressed with how strongly their request for help resonated with community.

The response toward the Young Professional’s donation drive for the fireworks has been equally impressive. While $5,000 isn’t the most imposing figure in the world to raise, it’s not exactly a cakewalk, either.

Fortunately, local business owners and residents have again shown their generosity, donating more than $4,500 since the group began collecting them several weeks ago.

Not only will the people donating benefit from their hours and funding, but more, importantly, the children will also gain something they didn’t have before. While there are other public playgrounds in the city, the new Russom Park one will have accessibility benefits for children with disabilities. The fireworks show, on the other hand, will allow kids to celebrate the Fourth of July right from their hometown.

As filming begins soon for the Our Town documentary about Dowagiac, it will be wonderful to see volunteers again come out in force to show off what makes the city great. One thing is for sure: the city’s giving spirit would make for a great subject.

Ted Yoakum is the community editor for the Dowagiac Daily News. Call him at (269) 687-7706. Email him at

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