Dry weather this week helped volunteer teams make quick work of many of the houses slated for “Paint the Town.”
After painting houses in LaGrange for eight years, DASH for LaGrange Inc., which sponsors the event, expanded this year. One house was painted in Troup County and two in West Point.
Jothaniel Zeigler is one of the West Point homeowners getting his house painted. He says he’s honored to be part of the first effort in West Point and hopes it continues to expand in the city.
Personally, it’s been about 10 years since his house got any attention.
“I’ve been wanting to paint it for a while,” he said.
Ironically, though, he didn’t apply to be part of the program. His house was nominated by his minister, the Rev. Bill Fannings.
“I’d always been aware of DASH and Paint the Town. I’ve known Frank Cox for years,” Zeigler said.
DASH started Paint the Town, using volunteers to paint houses of those who couldn’t afford or could physically do the work, at the urging of Cox, a former LaGrange City Councilman. Cox wanted to see DASH, which started out revitalizing southwest LaGrange and the mill village around Hillside, to help out other parts of the city.
DASH honored Cox two years ago for his efforts and he’d surely be pleased with how far Paint the Town has come, moving into all areas of the city and now the county and West Point.
DASH would like to see the program also come to Hogansville, if a donor could be found to get it there.
Zeigler said West Point’s potential growth with Kia makes this a perfect time for Paint the Town to come to his city. Kia is sponsoring the two houses to be painted.
Zeigler plans to work alongside his crew and be a “runner” if they need anything.
“I’ll do whatever they need,” he said. “The Lord just answered a prayer.”
Back in LaGrange, Ella Boddie is also thanking the Lord for answered prayers. She’s lived in her Mason Street house since 1988 and it’s been several years since it’s been painted.
“This is the first time anyone’s done anything like this for me,” she said.
A few blocks away, a team from Interface works on a South Greenwood Street house.
“The lady who lives here retired from Interface, so we’re glad to be doing this for her,” said Mike Patant, who was painting the porch earlier this week. “It keeps it in the family.”
On Glen Robertson Street, the team from Twin Cedars Youth Services paints with a purpose. Sallie Kinlaw, a longtime employee and volunteer with Paint the Town can’t be a part of it this year.
As she is in Atlanta, receiving treatment for cancer, her team works on.
“She said ‘Make sure you save me a shirt!’” said Adrian Palmer, a teacher’s assistant with Twin Cedars.
The shirts this year are pink and honor Kinlaw, with her name on the back with the sponsor list. They say, “Unite for one, unite for all.”
Kinlaw is “hanging in there,” said Palmer, who has picked up the lead on the Twin Cedars’ painting team in her friend’s absence. Twin Cedars has volunteered a team every year.
“It’s a chance to help the community,” Palmer said.