Saturday, April 25th, 2009
By William Kincaid
Ready to work
Cheryl Ann associates keep themselves busy beautifying Celina
Cheryl Ann Programs associate Charlie Moyer, 48, says he loves being outdoors where he can exercise, enjoy the community and get satisfaction from a job well done.
Moyer and other adults from Cheryl Ann Programs have been finding plenty of work around the city of Celina as they have been contracted to paint, mulch, clean and do other jobs.
"I'm just happy that it worked out this way - we're able to utilize this group," city employee Joe Wolfe said Friday. "They're always smiling; they never complain. They really enjoy working outdoors."
The group of mentally and physically disabled adults, supervised by Cheryl Ann employee Gregg Rutledge, began doing work for Celina last week that city employees often don't have enough time for, Wolfe said.
"They love it. They feel like they're actually city employees," Rutledge said. "They're taking a lot of pride and ownership in the work they do."
So far, the adults have cleaned up trash by a state fence near Havemann Road and painted the bleachers and dugouts at Montgomery Field at Eastview Park, as well as mulched the area.
"I like it," Moyer said about the work. "To me, if I had a job, it probably would be an outside job."
Moyer and others selected for the program work as much as five hours a day, Rutledge said. Around 10 to 12 Cheryl Ann associates currently are working.
But not all of the adults at Cheryl Ann Programs can do the work because of the physical demands. Rutledge said he hopes to get others outside, even if only for a few hours.
"It's nothing but positive - the adults feel like they're giving back to the community," Rutledge said.
Other projects for the summer include painting the bleachers and restrooms at Westview Park, where the Mariners play, and work at Mercelina Park. Last summer the group painted fire hydrants.
Rutledge said he also is organizing a volunteer group to do work at North Shore Park.
In addition to enjoying hard work outside, the adults are paid.
"They want to make money," Rutledge said.
Christine Houston, 47, Mendon, said she enjoys painting.
"I'm a good worker and I like to work a lot," she said.
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