Star of Hope refurbishing a joint labor of love

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The finished product.
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Another angle of the refurbished Star of Hope memorial.

A group of Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club members joined forces with a sizeable contingent from Columbia High School to refurbish the Star of Hope memorial in East Greenbush on Saturday morning.

Thanks to sunny weather, good organization, and plenty of willing hands, the projected three-hour effort was completed in just under two hours.

The Star of Hope, on the grounds of the East Greenbush Public Library, was created some years ago by the then-active CHS Interact Club as a lasting memorial to CHS students who passed away before they could graduate. Over the years, as that club ceased to be active, the memorial area underwent an inevitable decline that goes with such things. However, this year a concerted effort was created to refresh and refurbish it, and the Greenbush YMCA also pledged to make regular efforts to care for the new plantings.

The group planted a kousa dogwood (a/k/a/ Japanese dogwood), pink and yellow lilies, storksbills, and coreopsis after preparing the flower beds with peat and mulch.

Rotarians involved in planning and execution of today’s effort included Terry Brewer, Shannon Romanowski, Jim Leyhane, Mike Harkin (also the CHS principal), Roberto Martinez, Andy Leyhane, Geoff Brewer, Becky Raymond, and Assistant District Governor Jack Faddegon, whose Faddegon’s Nursery in Latham provided planting materials at cost.

Among the CHS delegation were Jess Winter, Bryel Weinlein, Danny Watson, Cameron Masiello, Fritz Howard, Tyler Wilk, Gabby Hochberg, Lilly Hutton, Ell Hutton, Allison Hutton, TJ Scaccia, Owen Stefanko, Jack Backman, Julia Neal, Ben McHugh, Taryn Stewart, Schuyler Lorette, and Collin Daugherty.

Terry Brewer, who was superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District at the time of creation of the Star of Hope and whose daughter was Interact president at the time, gave a history of the memorial, and expressed his appreciation to all for participating.

Below are a few scenes from the day, provided by Terry and Roberto. You also can see a photo gallery on the SRC Facebook page by clicking here.

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The scholastic work crew ready to get their hands dirty.
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ADG Jack Faddegon prepares ground for planting.
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Hard at work installing fresh plantings.
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Many hands make light work.
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ADG Jack Faddegon (left) and SRC President Roberto Martinez make plans.
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Geoff Brewer (left), Terry Brewer, and Shannon Romanowski take a break for a photo.
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Putting on the finishing touches.

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