City volunteer hours set new record

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | 4:51 p.m. CST; updated 7:24 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 15, 2013

COLUMBIA — Volunteers contributed service valued at about $1.1 million to the city of Columbia in fiscal 2012 and once again set a record for the number of hours donated.

Volunteers shared 50,300 hours of service with the city in fiscal 2012, a slight increase over 2011. Each volunteer hour is based on the national value of service, $21.79, Tim Teddy, community development director for the city, said in a Jan. 7 report to the City Council.

Lisa Rohmiller, volunteer programs assistant for the Community Development Department, said the city "is fortunate enough to have engaged citizens who want to be involved and who work to make a difference in this community.”

“Because of this, staff works year-round to maximize the contributions these folks are willing to make," Rohmiller said. "Columbia is a great place to live, and many of our residents want to do their part making it an even better place to live.”

The number of volunteer hours donated was the most in a single year since the city began keeping records in 1997. More than 6,000 residents volunteered for the city in fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30.

Around 50 volunteers participated in community events through the Columbia Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team Program, Lt. Brian Davison of the Fire Department said.

“They helped the Fire Department by providing first aid, walking around the events to see if they can help others as members of the community,” Davison said. “Those events include Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ, First Night, Memorial Day Weekend Air Show, Art in the Park and several others.”

The City Council report said the Parks and Recreation Department had the highest number of volunteer hours in nine years. The total number of volunteer hours working with the department reached roughly 40,500.

Nearly 150 volunteers helped remodel the Rainbow Softball Complex at Cosmopolitan Park by trimming and cutting trees behind the fields, installing new fence crowns and mulching and replanting landscaping beds, according to an April news release from the Parks and Recreation Department.

Teddy said in his report that volunteer priorities for fiscal 2013 include staffing the new visitors center in the Daniel Boone City Building, in cooperation with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and continuing to match volunteers with landscape beds through the Adopt-A-Spot Beautification Program.

“At the end of FY12 the Adopt-A-Spot Beautification Program had 95 beds, 87 of which were adopted,” Rohmiller said. “We are working to find adopters to care for the unadopted beds. In 2013, the volunteers will continue to care for their beds, keeping them colorful and well-maintained by weeding and watering as needed.” 

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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