Community volunteers descends on Pelion walking track for Saturday workday
Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) - A group of citizens who care deeply about their community descended on the walking track in Pelion Saturday morning for a community workday. Armed with hand and power tools, some determination, and sunny attitudes, the group was there to remove brush and debris that had begun to create a problem over time on the track.
Mayor Frank Shumpert and Councilman Larry Sossamon were the leaders of the effort but in their own casual leadership styles, people were given some basic goals for the day and then the volunteers paired up in small groups and quickly began working. Within a short amount of time, brush was cleared away and some trees that had been cut down after being killed by a beetle infestation were marked off for safety until they can soon be removed. All the trimmings then took a short ride by trailer to a spot where they will eventually be burned.
The volunteers’ makeup was diverse. There were both men and women and some had a few more years behind them than others. Some were veterans, others local businesspeople, and still others from other walks of life. Some were born, raised, and spent their entire lives in Pelion while a few were transplants from other places. All shared the same goals, making the community a better place.
Councilman Sossamon, one of the event's organizers, said Saturday that the plan for the day was to make the walking trail safer while keeping it looking good. Residents of the Town of Pelion enjoy a low crime rate but keeping the track wide open and clear of overgrowth helps ensure that anyone enjoying it can do so safely. The town tries to keep the low brush cut which allows passing motorists to see what's going on and if necessary, call for help. “It's not just about keeping an eye out for crime,” Sossamon said. “If someone had a medical emergency while on the track, anyone driving by should be able to see them and call for help.”
Mayor Frank Shumpert provided much of the commercial grade outdoor equipment that was used throughout the day. Shumpert, who owns the local grocery store, also provided cold water for the volunteers. “All these people are here out of a sense of community pride,” Sossamon said. “Frank is a humble man and would never tell you this, but he is not only working here side-by-side with everyone else, he’s also spent a great deal of his own money to make sure we have the right tools to get this job done right.” In true Frank Shumpert fashion, he has said many times before he has been very blessed over his life and giving back is the responsibility of everyone in a community, whether it be through finances, labor, or any in any way they possible can.