Charting the Course

Every year I write a column thanking all our volunteers.  I wasn’t going to do it again this year except that every time I look outside or go outside, I see someone else volunteering for our community.   I am still amazed about the amount of volunteers we have in our city.  Main Street Vermilion keeps track of the hours they volunteer and the number would truly surprise you.  Just this year alone, they have 8972 volunteer hours, and that is only one organization.

Just this week, we have Third Thursday, Main Street Volunteer Thank You picnic, and Woollybear Festival.  Last week, we had the Port Authority Duck Race and the Firelands Symphony perform at Paper Moon in a free concert.  Last Friday, we had “Dancing at the Docks” provided by the Port Authority.

All summer long, there is all kinds of activities that keep Vermilion busy.  While organizations and residents are planning and having activities, volunteers are out there every day planting, weeding and watering our hanging baskets. They don’t only volunteer downtown, they volunteer at West Breeze, Showse and Sherod Parks.  There are out at the entrances to Vermilion on the Lake and at the entrances of the City.  We constantly hear comments about how “wonderful our city is” and “how do we find people like this”?  They all want to move here.  They only wished that their city could do the same.  Thank you to all our volunteers.

Another activity in our City is a group called the “Shore Thing”.  This is a group of people who clean our Main Street beach every day and run a small concession stand of snacks and beach chair/umbrella rentals at the beach.  They also raised funds to purchase a handicap accessible wheelchair for the beach.  The “Shore Thing” group also serves as ambassadors to our City and are available to answer all types of questions about the community. They have been able to welcome visitors from all over the world who have come to Vermilion.  Last year, our Parks and Recreation Board purchased a handicapped accessible mat that is placed on the beach so that people in wheelchairs can get down to the beach.  It has been a huge success with use by many who could not access the beach on the sand.  Another volunteer, Vicki Deel Lezon comes down every day and cleans it and checks on the mat to make sure that it is safe.

Last year, the Main Street Lighthouse Preservation Committee volunteers raised funds so that we could purchase a Fresnel lens installed in our lighthouse.  This year, our lighthouse was vandalized and Jeff Hoopes, a local painter, donated time and material to restore it to its original condition.

I could not write a column about summer activities in Vermilion without mentioning the Community Pool.  Many citizens support our pool without ever visiting it.  This is a very special and fun place for all our families in the summertime.  A very special thank you to Bob Cunicella, our Pool Manager for giving so much of his own time to make this a special for children and adults in our community.

I also have to mention Dana Corogin.  I know she does not like recognition but she works so hard, day and night keeping our parks and city neat and clean.  Thank you Dana!

This column certainly cannot include everyone, including our boards and commissions, our schools, churches, service groups and all the individuals who do so much for our community including the ones that wish to remain anonymous.  I am sure that I have missed many because there are so many great people and organizations that it would be impossible to thank them all.

I hope that each individual has benefitted from volunteering.  I hope that you have met new people in the community, made new friends and made our community more close knit because working together makes Vermilion a Great place to Live!



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