In an effort to help the community, the winners of the Fountain City Pageant worked to beautify Mattie Marsh Park Monday.
The shelter area at the park, located on East Trevitt Street in Bryan, had seen better days, with people having carved words into the tables and the walls needing a fresh coat of paint.
The queens — Miss Bryan Kyah Davis, Little Miss Bryan Emma Gillett, Junior Miss Bryan Ava Lucas and Teen Miss Bryan Zoey Gillett — got together with half a dozen other volunteers to paint the walls and the picnic tables at the shelter house.
“Everything all over the walls and tables makes the park a lot less family friendly,” Zoey said. “If people say Mattie Marsh Park, they should think of a healthy place or clean place, not a place that has foul language all over the walls.”
She said she wanted to work on the park after the four of them volunteered to hand out lunches there earlier this summer as part of the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission’s free lunch program.
They were speaking to Avery Carter, the Americorps VISTA volunteer in charge of the summer lunches at Mattie Marsh Park, about it.
“We were talking and she was like, ‘I wish the city would do something a little better,’ and we thought, ‘We can do something,’” Zoey said.
They spoke to city officials who provided all the paint supplies and got the word out about what they wanted to do.
They painted the area on Monday with the help of around half a dozen other volunteers.
“I think we got a pretty good turnout,” Zoey said.
A big part of the pageant involved community service, Davis said.
“It’s all about getting us out and helping out in our community,” she said. “I figured this would be a good way to start and see how this goes.”
For Lucas, the opportunity was about making the community look better.
She also wanted to have fun.
“(I like) making friends and having more friends than at home,” Lucas said.
Emma was blunt and honest about her participation in this particular community service.
“I didn’t really want to do this, it was their option, I just went along with it,” she said.
Emma did say she enjoyed getting out and helping around the community.