Volunteers Spruce Up Downtown In Preparation for Fall / BenchMark Winners Announced to Kick Off Art Walk

In one day, approximately 900 students from Indiana Wesleyan University made their mark in Marion and Grant County as part of their annual Acts of Kindness service project. IWU has been in existence for 95 years, and each year they coordinate one group of students for each year in existence to make a difference in the community while orientating new and transferring students.

Main Street Marion gratefully received a group of 50 students, who helped with the #PICKITUPMARION Fall Downtown Cleanup, where the students helped downtown businesses with improvement projects, and endured the heat of the day canvassing the downtown grid picking up trash and debris. Six downtown businesses signed up to receive help from the students: Morris Kelsay Attorney’s Office, Jerry’s Leather and Shoe Hospital, Centrum Mall Shoppes & Offices, Clique Creative, 504 Salon and the soon-to-open Country Café & Bakery which will be located at 100 N. Washington at the old Main Street Office.

Country Café & Bakery owner, Eric Creech, says the volunteers were very helpful and a joy to work with. “They were especially excited about helping with the gutter gardens, and the fact that it was being used for food at the café. “ The café is scheduled to open by the end of October.

The newly-designed benches around the Courthouse Square were also clear-coated by the students, to complete the new works of art produced by local artists over the last few weeks. The BenchMark project was the beginning of a mural program downtown. The winners of the BenchMark project were also announced Friday. Roger Tappan’s James Dean inspired design received 1st Place, Armila Francis’s bench depicting Grant County’s native flora and fauna received 2nd Place, and Laurie Miller’s whimsical sun/moon design received both 3rd Place and the People’s Choice Award. The newly painted benches surround the Grant County Courthouse Square and represent a portion of a downtown-wide art walk, the 3rd Annual Made in Marion Art Walk. Maps are available at Centrum Shoppes & Offices.

Contact: Layla Adair Price

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