Marietta has a long history of volunteerism. Before Marietta Days, fireworks, Candlelight Tours, Bike Races and the other community events we enjoy today, scores of volunteers helped with children’s parades, horse shows, the big Sesquicentennial Celebration, and many more town projects (see vintage photos courtesy of Steve Bailey).
Community organizations and events foster a sense of place and of belonging. These are fundamental human needs often lost in today’s social media-obsessed world where folks spend less time in face to face conversations and activities. In this issue of the Traveler readers will find a list of community organizations and their volunteer needs. This list is maintained by Our Marietta, a consortium of these groups that seeks to promote communication between them and throughout the community at large. Check out Our Marietta’s website for updates on this list, a community calendar, and more on this organization at www.OurMarietta.com.
Marietta’s organizations, events, and celebrations are not funded by your tax dollars but, rather, are dependent on citizens willing to roll up their sleeves to enhance our sense of community and quality of small town life. And this quality resides not only in events, but also in our unique surroundings. The cherry trees maintenance (Beautification Committee) and our historic buildings are two sources of pride that come to mind immediately. Rebecca Carroll, President of MRA, has this to say about the critical role this volunteer organization plays: “I think it is important that the people realize that if MRA does not take care of the historical buildings [e.g. Union Meeting House and Old Town Hall] the money would have to come from Marietta tax payer. It is important to stay active with MRA. MRA members receive discount cards to local businesses. If you enjoy our local restaurant your membership should pay its self-off in no time.”
When volunteering is mentioned, many residents will immediately think of our incredible fire department that deserves a shout out in this article. Most of us can’t be volunteer firefighters, but we certainly can support this organization through our donations. How vulnerable our cherished buildings would be without firefighters’ non-stop dedication!
Volunteer efforts are not limited to Marietta’s established organizations. Countless independent projects have had grassroots support over the years. As this is being written, many are volunteering to help with maintenance of our beautiful trail as a result of a simple Facebook request.
Marietta resident and counselor, Judith Kennedy offers further reasons to consider volunteering: “Positive social engagement is one of the most important contributions that anyone can give to themselves, their families, and the community. It is associated with better physical and emotional wellbeing and also with vibrant communities. When we are engaged in positive ways with others we feel more secure and more able to solve problems together. Volunteerism has benefits for people of all ages including young people wishing to build experience and their resumes for work and college applications.”
No article about Marietta volunteerism should omit the time and effort put into Borough government by members of Borough Council, the Planning Commission, and other local government appointees. These positions are unpaid and require many more hours than those spent at monthly meetings. You can contribute to community discourse and decisions by voluntarily attending these meetings, as well as Borough Council’s various committee meetings. These are listed on the Borough’s website.
Marietta is moving forward in many positive ways. As your community involvement increases, you become more aware of the many interesting and promising initiatives that are unfolding right this minute in this historic little river town!
Websites, contacts (where available), projects, and plans in works:
MARIETTA COMMUNITY HOUSE
Kathy Leaman firstname.lastname@example.org
Auction, garden tour
Building available for community events, weddings and other gatherings
Preparation underway for 100 Year Anniversary celebration
MARIETTA RESTORATION ASSOCIATES
Rebecca Carroll rebecca,email@example.com
Annual Candlelight Tour, Marietta Traveler
Union Meeting House grounds improvements and rentals
Old Town Hall maintenance and archive organization
Adam Jenkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Quarterly publication covering local news, looking for writers and ad salespeople
MARIETTA LIONS CLUB
Gene Hilton email@example.com
Sign of events on 441, Easter Egg hunt, highway clean-ups, help maintain cherry trees and many other community needs
This organization is now working on collaborating with annual Bike Race organizers
Many new ideas for 2019 celebration including live music
MARIETTA AREA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (MABA)
Bev Krieder firstname.lastname@example.org
Host Marietta Day, support local business ads in Traveler, support garden committee, host meet and greets every month
David Haneman email@example.com
Involved in heritage issues in Marietta, Columbia and Wrightsville. Much focus on local iron industry.
New sign at ruins of Musselman site, Henry Clay exhibit and bench in honor of June Evans, working on self-guided panels along the ruins, collaborating with County Park on property South of Vesta, maintaining Vesta exhibits, manning space
MARIETTA CENTER FOR THE ARTS (HOME OF THE SUSQUEHANNA STAGE COMPANY)
Has taken up residency in the former Presbyterian Church and has an ambitious production schedule lined up along with plans for other arts activities in spacious new home
AMERICAN LEGIONPOST 466
FIRE DEPARTMENT AND FIRE POLICE