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Over 200 show up for 'Love Ceres' to improve the community
Rosalinda Vierra shovels
Rosalinda Vierra, a member of the Ceres City Council, helped in a work detail at Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children during Saturday’s “Love Ceres” event. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Approximately 230 people turned Saturday to bust a sweat and lend some muscle for projects during a community work day billed as the annual «Love Ceres» event.

The volunteers came from every walk of life to delve into 14 community service projects ranging from washing ambulances and police cars to picking up trash.

A number of volunteers, including Ceres City Councilwoman Rosalinda Vierra and Community Development Director Christopher Hoem turned out to clear out to replace the decayed bark around the children’s playground structure at the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children and replenish it with a rubberized material.

A group of young people turned out to paint over the mural in the Ceres High School amphitheater under the direction of Aaron Yanagi.

Cleanup efforts were made at Sam Ryno, Strawberry Fields and Ceres River Bluff Regional parks as well as downtown Ceres.

At Harvest Presbyterian Church, volunteers wrote thank you cards for first-responders and painted affirmation rocks at the same time a group had assembled at Meyer CPR & First Aid on Fourth Street to assemble “go bags” for victims of domestic violence.

About 200 persons turned out for the 8:30 a.m. send-off at Whitmore Park where Love Ceres chair Brandy Meyer and others greeted them. Members of the Ceres Lions Club showed up hours earlier to cook breakfast burritos to fuel up the workers.

“We’re gonna make a huge contribution to Ceres and I appreciate all of you getting up bright and early – especially the Lions Club before we all arrived,” said Ceres City Councilwoman Rosalinda Vierra.

Stanislaus County Supervisor Channce Condit of Ceres spoke to the crowd, telling them “I think the goal needs to be that we not only love Ceres today but every day. That’s how we build on this momentum. That’s how we beautify our city and clean up the trash and that’s how we get ourselves to make a difference. And our city’s slogan is ‘Together We Achieve.’ I think today’s a perfect example of working together.”

Pentecostal Church Pastor Ryan Guinn prayed for the safety of volunteers and for a “spirit of unity in this community.”

Nine members of Girls Scout Troop 3005 of Ceres volunteered to paint garbage cans and the bathrooms at George Costa Fields in Smyrna Park.

“I put out what’s available and then they say yea or nay, yes or no, like what we’re doing,” said troop leader Shawna Weeks. “They all said they wanted to come and help out. This is the first time we’ve done it as a troop.”

This was the first time that Heather Lawrence, a 20-year resident of Ceres, and her daughter Ashleigh decided to participate in a beautification project. They spread bark in the flower beds at Whitmore Park just in time for the Ceres Street Faire this weekend.

“I’ve been wanting to do it every year but like something comes up and we can’t do it or I’d forget about it and it’s like, I’m doing it this year,” said Lawrence.

Sponsors of “Love Ceres” included California Landscape Supply, Youth for Christ, the city of Ceres, Ceres Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Soroptimist International of Ceres, Modesto Fire Department, Ceres Lions Club, Pentecostal Church of Ceres, Turlock Irrigation District, Gary Condit Productions, Cost Less, Rosalinda Vierra, Meyer’s CPR & First Aid and Stanislaus County Love Ceres.

Ryan Guinn
Pentecostal Church Pastor Ryan Guinn and others spent Saturday morning washing ambulances and other first-responder vehicles in front of the downtown fire station. It was one of about 14 “Love Ceres” work projects that were available to the approximately 230 volunteers who turned up for the annual event. - photo by Jeff Benziger
Mayor Javier Lopez Love Ceres
Ceres Mayor Javier Lopez with Love Ceres mascot “L.C.” Dominick Martinez. - photo by Jeff Benziger
Heather Lawrence Love Ceres
Heather Lawrence and daughter Ashleigh Lawrence spread bark in the flower beds at Whitmore Park. - photo by Jeff Benziger
Daniel Baker Love Ceres
Ceres High School student Daniel Baker paints over the old mural at his campus amphitheater. - photo by Jeff Benziger