Columbia honors its top volunteers

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:56 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Teresa Kight, a Tree Keeper for 2 years, has sacrificed many Saturday mornings to yard work — and it’s not even her own yard. Kight goes out to various Columbia parks and plants trees, mulches and prunes in order to keep recreation areas maintained.

Brian Pape and his wife, Joy, have been involved with Columbia’s Adopt-A-Spot program since 1997 and maintain a part of the MKT Trail stretching from downtown to Stadium Drive.

Bill Crum spends the first and third Saturday of each month collecting waste as a Household Waste Collection, or HazMat, aide.

Kight, Crum and the Papes were recognized as outstanding volunteers at the Hawaiian-themed 2005 Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Tuesday.

Barefoot and clad in bright-red dresses and grass skirts, students from Missouri’s only hula school performed against a backdrop of glassy water at the Twin Lakes Recreation Area Shelter. The hula dancers summoned people from the crowd to join their dance.

After luau-style entertainment and refreshments, Mayor Hindman delivered a speech thanking several individuals who were nominated by city staff members for their outstanding volunteer service.

This year, Columbia’s volunteers logged 41,251 hours working for city programs and projects, an estimated value of $723,955.

“It’s just something we’ve always liked to do,” Pape said of his adopted section of the MKT Trail. “It seems like a natural part of living in a place — you take care of it.”

Crum enjoys volunteer work because of all the interesting and diverse people he meets. “I worked for the city in the waste division, so I heard about HazMat through the city, and when I retired, I just started volunteering.”

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