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Volunteers, project needed for Love Ceres
Love Ceres

After a one-year hiatus, the "Love Ceres" event is returning this month and there are plenty of jobs needing volunteer workers.

The event is set for Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Volunteers who wish to make Ceres a better place will be working on different projects throughout Ceres.

This year's event appears to be a scaled-down version of past Love Ceres events which had featured more projects and pursued publicity under the enthusiastic direction of Brian and Becki Barton Nicholes. The couple is no longer in charge of Love Ceres. This year the effort is being organized by Pastor Jim Stochl of Harvest Presbyterian Church and Grace Community Christian Church Pastor James Burbank.

"We can't do it to the level that Brian and Becki did because they had so many years and so many contacts but we decided we needed to do something," said Pastor Stochl.

"If anybody has a project between now and they're certainly welcome to put that on (the website," The website has a place to submit projects tab. Persons must describe the project and state how many people are needed. Love Ceres organizers will review the request and add it if appropriate.

The kickoff for the work projects will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Whitmore Park in downtown Ceres.

About 50 to 100 volunteers have signed up already, said Stochl.

According to the Love Ceres website, projects include:
• The Peace Pole art project. Groups/volunteers will design and paint a wood post with a peace or community-based message and then place them in the community. The posts would be cemented into the ground in a community park or city building. The goal would be to make at least four that day. Leading the project is Cambria Pollinger, the city of Ceres' recreation supervisor.

• A clean-up of Highway 99 as sponsored by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

• Whitmore Park Community Mural. Under the supervision and approval of the Ceres Recreation Department, volunteers will paint (mural would be sketched out in advance) at Whitmore Park. The mural would be the jump start to the citywide beautification "Art in the Parks" project. Paint will be donated. Since Ceres is celebrating its centennial the mural will have an ode to the past.

• A clean-up of downtown Ceres under the direction of Ceres Christian Church Youth Pastor Bill Kearney.

• Clean-up of the Ceres Main Canal along the pedestrian and bike path. Starting on Fowler Road at the canal, two groups will be picking up trash and pet waste on both sides of the canal. One group will work south towards Whitmore Avenue while the other will move north toward Hatch Road. Efforts will be made to pick up trash and dog droppings along both sides of the canal. Volunteers should bring gloves, shovels, and pick-up tools. Garbage bags will be provided.

• Assisting a disabled woman in Ceres with yard work.

• Assist in a book drive. Ceres Girl Scout troop 3278 is donating a little free library (Give a book, take a book) to the new Ceres Garden to promote literacy within the community. The public can help by dropping off lightly used books to a booth in front of the Ceres Community Center for a couple of hours that day to collect books for the library.

• Assist with a Community Baby Shower hosted by the Ceres Partnership. This year, the shower will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ceres Partnership, 1317 Grandview Avenue. The event provides expecting parents with lunch, cake, prizes and a day of education and fun. The Ceres Partnership plans to place bins around Ceres to collect baby essentials and asks for community donations of diapers, wipes, new clothing and blankets, baby formula, baby care products or monetary donations. Supplies may be donated now through April 21 or individuals may bring items to the Community Center where the volunteer send-off will take place at 9 a.m. Donations will be distributed to Ceres families and recipients acquire the donated items by participating in the services and/or programs offered at Ceres Partnership. Two to three individuals are needed during the shower to help in the children's craft area; one or two are needed to help with games; and one to two individuals can help collect the items donated during the Love Ceres event (volunteers can be stationed with the bins at Love Ceres meeting point).