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Features

Volunteers help Plainfield Park District get set for holiday events

Volunteer Darren Tonarelli prepares a prop guillotine for painting on Make a Difference Day for the Plainfield Park District.
Volunteer Darren Tonarelli prepares a prop guillotine for painting on Make a Difference Day for the Plainfield Park District.

Volunteers from St. Mary Immaculate Church spent part of their Saturday last week helping Plainfield Park District staff get ready for a busy season of special holiday events.

Evan Tonarelli, an eight-grader from JFK Middle School, was among the volunteers, earning hours for his membership in Jr. National Honor Society as well as hours as a student in the confirmation program at St. Mary’s.

He and his parents were helping touch up props for the Park District’s Grinchmas on the Green event, which was held Nov. 30, and were also painting new props for the district’s Haunted Hayrides.

While Evan and his mom, Jill, applied a layer of black spray paint to rows of plywood tombstones, his dad, Darren, was busy masking off a prop guillotine he was prepping to paint.

The Tonelli’s said it was their first year of volunteering to help the Park District ahead of the holiday season.

Pam Angelus, development director for St. Mary Immaculate, said that the parish has organized volunteer days for several years as a way to give back to the community each year.

This particular Saturday also happened to fall on Make a Difference Day, which is a day of community service usually celebrated on the third Saturday each October.

“When we heard it was Make a Difference Day we said: ‘Let’s get out and do something,’” said Darren who, along with his wife, serves as a mentor in the St. Mary’s confirmation program.

Plainfield Park District Recreation Manager Misty Bartlett said that volunteers make it possible for the District to host its special programs and events throughout the year.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Plainfield Park District, visit plfdparks.org/get-involved/volunteer/.

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