Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

July 16, 2012

Pleasant Hill Ramblings: MO youth lend a helping hand in Pleasant Hill

CROSSVILLE — Last week in Pleasant Hill, it was exciting to see young people throughout the community. Of course, Pleasant Hill has quite a few resident young people and the wonderful Pleasant Hill Elementary School, but usually one has to watch out for the wheelchairs, walkers, cane users and electric scooters that are evident near a retirement community

Twelve youth with three adult chaperones from St. John’s BEM, United Church of Christ near Owensville, MO, took time from their summer activities to share their energy, muscles and talent here in Pleasant Hill. Neighbors Together, the Pleasant Hill Community Church and Uplands Village partnered to host the group of junior and high school ages.

Most of the group stayed in the Pleasant Hill Community House, which is equipped with a full kitchen and showers. They were greeted by Jack and Fanny Seville and Bob and Connie Waidmann of Uplands and the Community Church. Fanny escorted a BEM shopper to Crossville for groceries.

The youth made excellent use of their time in the area. Neighbors Together, a self-help local organization, has recently relocated to a house in the Uplands Village on Main Street. The building was in need of cleaning and painting. All that youthful exuberance made short work of those tasks under the leadership of Mandy Adams, director of Neighbors Together, and Ziggy Stampfl, treasurer.

The house provides rooms for a reception area, offices and a food pantry with lots of storage room in the basement. Once the pantry was completed, the work campers filled the shelves as others moved furniture from the old Neighbors Together headquarters into the new location. They participated in the first food distribution at this new place.

Donna Iles, manager of the Grab thrift store on West Main Street, had tasks for some of the young people as well. The youth assisted the pastor of the Pleasant Hill Community Church, Tom Warren, with worship at the Wharton Homes. During that time, Barbara Everett explained the concept of the Eden Alternative philosophy taking place in the Wharton Homes. David Harsh, Uplands development director, coordinated their activities in Wharton Homes and the Fletcher House of Assisted Living.

Church members were delighted to have the aid of the young people during their evening vacation Bible school. Extra hands during crafts and recreation times were much appreciated. It wasn’t all work and no play. Pastor Tom and his family exposed the Missourians to the fabulous Fall Creek Falls Park. The weather was just perfect for swimming. They even sampled the local cuisine at Pleasant Hill’s Linda’s Coffee Shop.

It is so important to expand the horizons of young people, even those who share the same faith and a similar culture. The Pleasant Hill Community Church began as a mission project by the American Missionary Association in Boston when they sent Father Benjamin Dodge from Maine to start a school and a church in Pleasant Hill back in 1884. For many years, adult and youth groups came to this area to provide help such as these young people did. Let us hope that the exchange of ideas continues in this cooperative way forever.

 ***

An unwelcome guest crashed through the front dining room window at Fletcher House in Pleasant Hill last week. A frightened deer went in and out of another window of the dining room, falling and breaking a leg, which necessitated putting it out of its misery.

A large full-sized bees nest growing between a floral display and memorial tombstone in the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery precipitated the stinging of a visitor. Mayor Al Dwenger pointed out, “While I do love our Pleasant Hill [Elementary School] Hornets, the hive was carefully removed and burned.”

The town hall is offered as a cooling shelter during office hours if someone needs relief from the latest extreme heat wave. A Craftsman mower was purchased by the town and is in use. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department held a “Safe Community” Group Planning Meeting with a number of persons in the Pleasant Hill area along with Mayor Dwenger and Councilwoman Lisa Patrick in attendance. Many ideas were shared.

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