The sunshine and the billowing white clouds along with temperatures in the upper 70’s was the perfect weather this past Saturday for a day filled with giving back. The annual Love Riverbank event was in full effect with several volunteers hitting the streets to beautify their city.
The ‘Love’ campaign began at 8 a.m. with a rally in front of the Community Center. The husband and wife team of Ruben and Aaxa Facio as first time organizers of the event, along with the support of their church Centro Biblico Apostolico (Apostolic Bible Center), brought the event to fruition in the Riverbank community.
There were approximately 75 volunteers that were on hand to complete several projects like Cardozo School beautification, Jacob Myers Park clean-up, the Riverbank Library, helping the elderly and disabled veterans. The volunteers were treated to some refreshments at the rally before their day of service began.
Cardozo Middle School teacher Danielle Jensen, leadership students, and California Junior Scholastic Federation members volunteered to help beautify the school by washing down the walls, scrapping up gum, and distributing mulch in the flower beds, with the mulch and other landscaping materials donated by Mike Bizzini.
“The clean-up went well,” added Jensen. “The students enjoyed the project because they got to work together.
“I Love Riverbank is a great event to get the community involved in taking care of the community.”
Prior to the Love Riverbank festivities on Saturday, Riverbank City Councilmember Darlene Barber Martinez along with some help from family members, made several batches of cookies in a variety of flavors that were delivered to the public servants in the community including the Riverbank Police Services, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, the post office, and the City of Riverbank staff.
“Councilmember Barber Martinez and Ed Tabaca, who is also a planning commissioner, surprised the City of Riverbank staff Thursday afternoon with multiple plates of cookies for the entire staff and it hit just at the right time,” stated City Manager Jill Anderson. “It was such a special treat and they were yummy. It was just so nice to be thought of.”
The church through which the day of service was coordinated is a Christian church and is a Spanish ministry located on Jackson Avenue and several members of the church were there to help complete the projects.
There were a large number of church members at the Jacob Myers Park project where they cleaned up several areas of the park.
Taking on the event this year, the Facio’s were inspired to do so by their Pastor Efraan Amaya and Angie Tipone, who organized Love Riverbank last year.
“Our desire comes from our pastor to serve the community,” added Facio. “Angie Tipone last year was a wonderful leader.
“She kind of trained us and so we are following in her steps.”
The idea of the campaign is to help those in need and for the Facio’s that was something that they had to be part of.
“We definitely have to go out there and help out and give back to our community,” stated Facio. “I think it is a wonderful event that we can all contribute a little something and give back. Especially like our senior citizens, our elderly, our veterans, that are disabled and so it is a pleasure to be part of it.”
Sno-White Drive-In owner Daryl Daniel gave all volunteers that stopped and said “Love Riverbank” a free beverage.
The day concluded with a demonstration of city love by the alleys being cleaned, projects completed for senior citizens, planter boxes filled with dirt and plants, school beautification and library shelves dusted.
“I hope we continue to host this event as well as get more people involved,” said Jensen.
“We should make a conscious effort to keep the practice of Loving Riverbank everyday all year long by keeping our parks clean and no dumping or littering in our alleys,” expressed Barber Martinez. “I think Love Riverbank 2016 was very successful.”
“Thanks to everyone that participated.”