DAPHNE – The first Community Spirit Day in Daphne was a big success even with an occasional interruption by rain, organizers and city officials said.
The event was put on by the Daphmont Community Organization and Olde Towne Daphne in Joe Lewis Patrick Park on July 10, Jewel Lawson, an organizer, said. Lawson said volunteers from both groups and the city pitched in to help with the event.
“These volunteers worked unbelievably hard, even in the rain and mud, they didn’t care,” she said. “They kicked off their shoes. We had them walking around with no shoes on. Muddy shoes, even if they had cute little shoes, the ladies, they still had them on in the mud. They were dedicated to making sure our event went smoothly and their dedication paid off.”
Spirit Day was paid for by individual donations, she said. Money that was not used for the event will go to the Ruff Wilson Youth Center in Daphmont.
Lawson said about 425 people, ranging in age from infants to 95, took part in Spirit Day.
She said the event was the vision of resident Denise D’Oliveira. “I want to thank Denise for her vision and giving us and allowing us the possibility of making this reality come true,” Lawson said.
D’Oliveira said the idea of Spirit Day was to allow residents to come together and meet their fellow citizens.
“There just seemed to be this unspoken longing throughout the community to come together after so many months apart - a perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and get acquainted with neighbors we might never have met otherwise,” D’Oliveira said. “On that count, Community Spirit Day was a huge success.”
Mayor Robin LeJeune also took part in the event. He said Public Works Department employees helped set up the park for the celebration.
“It was a great event for the city to come together and the city to use its resources to help,” LeJeune said. “So we’re really excited about that.”
Councilman Steve Olen said city officials and volunteers put a great deal of work into Spirit Day even before the event began.
“It was a huge success and there were a number of reasons for that success,” Olen said. “First and foremost, all of the people who volunteered a number of hours. Four different organizational meetings, preparations in advance, preparation the morning of the event. Many hundreds of hours went into it.”
Lawson said Daphne Utilities donated about 300 hot dogs, which were cooked and served by some of the 45 community volunteers who took part in Spirit Day. The event also included 12 tables set up to distribute information from local community service organizations.