Life’s Reflections: Kudos Go Out to Volunteers Working To Improve Ansonia

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This is just one of the group of volunteers who took part in the Ansonia cleanup on Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

Despite the intense heat, cleanup began Saturday on some of the properties in Ansonia, thanks to organizers and many volunteers.

This resulted from a town council meeting held on July 18 to bring up the matter and some other issues in the community.

Kris Riffell

Kris Riffell, a resident of the local trailer park, initiated the town meeting after reporting about an unkempt property there. Quite a few people were in attendance at that meeting, including Crystal Reier Gibbs, who, before that meeting ended, suggested having volunteers, including herself, help out in any way possible. And, she followed through.

So, on Saturday, it took a special crew of 22 volunteers three hours, to get the work they had planned done.

Crystal Reier Gibbs

“We split into groups of three and knocked them out,” she said. “We had people who weren’t even living in town anymore and also had two mowing companies, Enterprises of HG and Nate’s Mowing, helping us. It was a great turnout. We knocked four homes.”

Besides Gibbs and Riffell, other volunteers included: Heather Midlam, Julie Kimmel, Brandon Gelhaus, Amber Gelhaus, Derek Hartzell, Teresa Fleckenstein, Dan Hiestand, Christa Everman, and Kenny Edwards.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” Gibbs said. “We were so thankful for all the people who showed up today to help clean up our little community. Some of them weren’t from here at all, some don’t live here now, and they still showed up for a cause. A special thank-you to Hunter George and Enterprises of HG Inc. and Nate and Heather Midlam of Nates mowing for bringing in the big guns. We really did make a difference today. To everyone who donated things to help, thank you. And to everyone who busted their butt in the heat, you guys rock!”

According to her, Councilperson Christa Everman and she went around town about a week ago getting permission from residents. “We still have a few more to get but got the okay on a lot. Some were really excited as they just can’t keep up or know where to start. We asked for mowers, weed eaters, blowers, shrub trimmers, etc. ”

Anyone who didn’t have time but would like to help could perhaps donate trash bags, Round-Up, gardening gloves, or anything they could think of that would help.
This is one of the properties that received a facelift on Saturday, and on the right, it is shown after the work was done. (Courtesy photos)

She said the group’s intention with doing this is “just to give residents a fresh start so they can keep up with it after this. If there are elderly that cannot keep up with it, we will continue to help,” she said, adding, “By the way, the cars got removed on Cross Street too.”

Kris Riffell loved it so much that he can’t wait until the next time.
“We would like to focus on the ones that haven’t had attention yet,” he said. “Comments have been made that now that it’s under control, maybe they can manage it themselves. If not, just ask for help before it gets out of control. I definitely want it to be known that this is not to shame or call anyone out on. We are willing to volunteer to our best abilities.”
He still has not gotten a resolution to his initial problem.
“The two properties across from me still look and smell the same. They are so bad I don’t want to even step foot on those lots.”
He, too, is appreciative of the equipment that was brought in to help with the project.
He went on, “When this started not even a month ago. I had a dream. And that dream came true. The community and folks that don’t even live in this town showed up and worked. Our community is the best. And we can’t forget Tom Welbaum for assisting us in the removal of the limbs and debris.”
“We met at 8:45 and started work around 9,” Riffell reported. “It was around 12:30 or 1 when we called it quits for the day. I think the heat affected all of us in different ways. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean it didn’t suck. We had lots of water on hand. My son, who lives in Kettering, was helping along with my daughter, Alexis.”
Bless you all!
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Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of David I. Hughes, James R. Smith, Geraldine Hodge, Luella Swank, Michael E. Brandt, Cuyler McCartney, Duane Sander and John Bihn.******  
Please pray for these people: Steve Waymire, Allison “Ally” Miller, Mary Lou Runner, Grace Boyd, Jason Stover Jr., Jeff Brocious, Jamie Knick, Dan Lockhart, Vanna Hannam, Jenny Pitman, Nikole Baldridge, Chester Bryant, Melinda (Batten) Stacy, Michelle Young, Tommy Farmer, Margaret Hoening, Manual Macias, Kathy McNutt Dapore, Lester Beisner, Delores Beisner, Kermit Foureman, Chuck “C.W.” Cruze, Mark Lovejoy, Connie Buemi Hodson, Michelle Grottle Wright, Cheryl Slonaker Gilmore, Judy York, Donald Booker, Dennis Leeper, Connie Stachler, Randy Heck, Ronnie Norton, Marie Schlechty, Jeremy “Jerm” Burke, Bev Brumbaugh, Gary Eichler, David Pretzman, Clinton Randall, Linda Lore, Ralph Byrd, Doug Winger, Rusty Maloy, Debbie Mayse, Sonja and Dan Coppess, Jeanie Francis, Harvey Hinshaw, Bruce Kaiser, Amanda Mote, Gary Francis, Anthony and Theresa Grillot, Lee Everhart, Paul Gigandet, Doug Whittington, Tracy Pratt, Kinley Bernard, D’Arleen Waymire, Tish Hodson Shepherd, Zach Urbancic.

Also, Sharon Gamster, John Rimmer, Joan Keen, Carol Hemmerich, Sharon Hummel, Dave Hinshaw, Larry P. Fitzwater, Jim Thomas, Neal Gray, Michael Mowery, Kenny Edwards, Judie Hathaway, Della Burch, Ned and Brenda Wallace, Rick Marker, Randy Garrison,  Warren Menchhofer, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Noella Combs, Becky Everhart, Becky Oliver, Jayden Martin, Stefani Priest, Steve Neff, James Enicks, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Linda Subler, Roger McEowen, Sally Burnett Ganger, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.
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Happy birthday:  
Aug. 1 to Jeff Riffell, twins Ron and Rick Bickel, twins Sharon and Karon Strait, Terry Longfellow, Jason Menchhofer and Irene Rosenbeck Siler.
Aug. 2 to Zane Keller, Gloria Hodge, Tina Jo Fourman, Melinda Bryson Frantz, Adam Cothran, Denney Heck, Mike Williams of The Winery, Mitch Eiting, April Staver, Payton Marie, Allison Dynes, Ron Crist and Kathy Rearick Hiestand.
Aug. 3 to Sharon Miller, Scott Walters, Ethan Mann, John Grilliot, Joyce Wendel, Judy Striegel Brandenburg, Earl Stump, Dorothy Tomlinson Miller, Nicole Arnett Rice and David Bryant.
Aug. 4 to Jerry Barga, Patty fellers, Mark Shiverdecker, Adrien Lore, Parker Bailey, Janell Randall, Cody Thwaits, Norma Ellison-Highley and David Loewer.
Aug. 5 to Jo Langenkamp, Todd Brunmbaugh, Adam Klipstine, Tara George,
Aug. 6 to Troy Gasper, Laura Turner, Dan “Slug” Widener, Tia Rhoades, Renata Simmons, Cindy Lovejoy, Toni Macci Wombold, Kim Klipstine, Terri Hall, Rita Leis, Carla Lynn Hill-Clark.
Aug. 7 to Allen Newbauer, Rick Hyatt, Dave Fitzgerald, Shelba Kelly, Erica Barga, Allen Newbauer, Hunter Burns, Zoey Burns, Hayden Burns, Barb Hess, Ken Rinderle and Lisa Miller.
Happy anniversary to Harold and Holly Riffell and John and Lori Linebaugh, all on Aug. 1; and Duane and Kelly Sannning on Aug. 4.  

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Think about it: “Everyone you meet has a part to play in your story, and while some may take a chapter, others a paragraph and most will be no more than scribbled notes in the margins, someday, you’ll meet someone who will become so integral to your life, you’ll put their name in the title.” — Beau Taplin/Life Stories