You, too, can be a superhero

Jack Horton, 7, is  on the hot seat shaking the hand of Mayor Jim Slovik. -
Jack Horton, 7, is on the hot seat shaking the hand of Mayor Jim Slovik.
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The Holland Happening parade was just a few days away and still we hadn’t found anyone to ride on the floats.

Oak Harbor city staff had decorated the three electric cars with slogans like “Only Rain Down the Drain”, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and “Be Water Wise.” It wasn’t until the final days that two young volunteers stepped up to accept the duty.

Teddy Peterschmidt, 12, son of city engineer, Arnie Peterschmidt, rode in the big, blue recycle bin while his dad steered the electric car down the parade route. His friend, Jack Horton, 7, passed out Tootsie Rolls while sitting on a toilet on the back of the Water Wise float. (He fastened his seat belt, of course.) Both boys were escorted by the mayor and city council members.

The boys are members of Boy Scout Troop 144 that had already volunteered for other duties in the city. After hearing a presentation about storm water pollution, they volunteered to do storm drain stenciling from the city marina to the bus station on Bayshore Road. They also helped the Parks Department pull up English Ivy in a lot next to the Chamber of Commerce. Now that’s a formidable foe, even for superheroes!

Earth Day seemed to bring out the best in the community. A group from the First Reformed Church volunteered to do a litter clean-up along with other projects. Several others helped with the community Earth Day celebration at Skagit Valley College’s Sustainability Fair on the Oak Harbor Campus. Eph Robbins stood outside on that snowy day sharing about his experience making bio-fuel. The High School Ecology Club helped direct the Recycle Relay activity for kids. Countless others helped direct traffic, set up, take down and clean up after the event. (In all the hustle and bustle you may not have noticed their red capes as they flew from one activity to another.)

We’ve all seen the superhero scenario played out on stage and screen, with the caped crusader swooping in to save the day while everyone else stands around watching. That’s not really how the world works. What really makes the world go ‘round are the efforts of a lot of people doing the right thing. So just because these folks aren’t wearing stretchy spandex outfits and zooming around in a batmobile, doesn’t mean they aren’t superheroes.

Spring is a great time to get out and volunteer in the community. It’s warm and sunny and the trees and flowers are exploding with color and scent. So if you feel inclined to join the army of superheroes already at work here and you have some time and energy for a litter campaign, weed removal, or storm drain stenciling project, please call Maribeth Crandell at 279-4762.

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