Make a Difference Day

Volunteers replace old mulch with new on Make A Difference Day at a Venice park.

VENICE — The city of Venice’s Make A Difference Day, when hundreds of local residents gather to beautify parks and green space, has won an award.

The 2018 event, in which a record number of people participated, has received a City-County Communications & Marketing Association Savvy Award of Excellence for Special Events-Recurring Event (population 0-99,000).

The judge in the category commented: “I loved getting to see how the city involved its community to improve and beautify its parks. A great way to engage residents to care for their City!”

The day is organized by the city’s Public Works Department and Jim Foubister, of Serve Florida. Last year in the sixth annual Make a Difference Day, 447 volunteers performed landscaping tasks, collected litter and assembled picnic tables at more than 20 parks and green space areas.

They then enjoyed a cookout at Maxine Barritt Park.

The volunteer labor, with some donated materials, saves the city thousands of dollars.

The national event, now in its 28th year, is always held on the fourth Saturday in October. This year it’s Oct. 26.

Serve Florida is already recruiting volunteers for this year’s event. Visit and click on the green “Help Now” button, then find “Make a Difference Day” among the items listed.

According to the website, tasks include “raking, mulching, tree limb pick-up, sod laying, debris collection and sanitizing playground equipment.”

Volunteers assemble at 8:30 a.m. at the Venice Community Center 326 S. Nokomis Ave., to receive a free T-shirt, gloves, water and park assignment.

“Comfy clothes, sunblock, a hat, closed-toed shoes, a warm smile and a heart to work together” are recommended.

Lunch is at noon at Maxine Barritt Park, 1800 South Harbor Drive.

For more information, call Jim Foubister, 941-223-1771.


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