The Village Council recognized six area residents as Outstanding Park Volunteers at the Jan. 13 meeting. The volunteers recognized were: Andrew Holz, Tony Kuleza, Robert Epps, Mary Sipe, Neil Query and Andy Wortman.
Councilman Openshaw was called upon to recognize the volunteers. He stated: The people we are recognizing tonight have literally helped to build our community. We have many volunteers at the park. These six have gone well beyond the norm in giving of their efforts, time and often giving financially. They share at least one attribute - they work hard for the benefit of all. In total, the selfless efforts of these people have not only saved the Village significant money but they have also contributed greatly to our largest community asset, while adding to our sense of community. The rave reviews we receive about the park are due in large part to their efforts. I thank each of you very much.
He called upon each volunteer and presented a certificate of appreciation.
Andrew Holz is a Marvin Creek resident and professional stonemason. He is probably our newest volunteer. He began by helping our staff members by providing his labor in their many efforts. Since then, he offered to build the wall in the new recreation area, not only contributing his professional skills but also using his personal tools and equipment and contributing needed materials. He has come in under budget on the project and has provided more than he promised.
Andy Wortman lives on Waxhaw-Marvin Road and is a member of our Parks, Recreation and Greenways Board. He is unable to be here tonight because of illness. Andy volunteered to build the shed and the well house located across from the community garden. The man who delivered the cement for the slab said he had never seen a better prepared site.
Tony Kulesza is a resident of Waxhaw who fairly recently popped up at the park and offered to help out wherever needed. Tony believes in volunteerism and in keeping busy. He quickly earned his Volunteer pass by helping salvage material from the park house and kept on working for many hour afterward. I can’t begin to list everything he has helped with, but his main assets are his carpentry skills and his willingness to always lend a strong hand when asked. When the demands of Andy Wortman’s business made him unable to finish the well house, Tony stepped up and finished the project using materials salvaged from the park house. He has also helped us save money on materials and he's offered to drive his truck, to pick up supplies when they were needed.
Robert Epps is a resident of Marvin Estates. He is a homebuilder and a contractor. He has been involved with the park from just about its earliest moments. He donated the weathervane on the barn and has provided expertise, manpower, materials and equipment. He has been our go-to guy when needed. He was unable to attend the meeting tonight, but expressed his appreciation to the Council for the recognition and stated that it has been his pleasure to serve the Village and he will continue to do so as needed.
Mary Sipe lives in the Oak Brook neighborhood, where she volunteers her time to their HOA by doing their landscaping. In my opinion, she is the best gardener in the Community Garden and is very helpful to many, providing advice when asked and often weeding and watering the plots of others when necessary. She offered to landscape the berm by the road to the maintenance building/parking area with perennials. She and her husband Mark prepared the site. Mary procured the plants for the Village at a great price and she has spent many hours watering the perennials to help get them established. We receive many compliments on those plantings. Mary is also helping to get the area near the gate ready for a wildflower garden. She and Ruth McDevitt have also provided us with suggestions for a landscaping plan throughout the main area of the park.
Neil Query is a resident of Canterfield Creek, where he has been perhaps the main contributor to volunteering for the neighborhood. His list of volunteer efforts at the park is longer than I can recite. Neil also serves on our Parks, Recreation and Greenways Board. He was the park's first regular volunteer. I well remember the day we removed over 5 years’ worth of accumulated leaves from around the house and how he was more energetic than I in the effort. He removed 2-3 miles of barb wire from the park. He engineered the bridge for the Eagle Scout project and pushed our drainage projects. He has spent countless hours killing poison ivy, building, marking and maintaining our trails. By my estimate, Neil has contributed 2000-3000 volunteer hours to our park.