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Over 400 Warner University faculty, staff, and students took up their paintbrushes, rakes, sponges, and smiles to spend the day volunteering in 36 projects around the City of Lake Wales community on April 6.

2016 Stuart Dunn Oliver House

Group who painted the Stuart Dunn Oliver house

The day kick-started with the opening ceremony presented by Warner University President Dr. Greg Hall, along with special guests: Lake Wales City Mayor Eugene Fultz, and City Manager Kenneth Fields.

Fultz said in his opening ceremony speech that this was the largest group to ever volunteer in a single day in Lake Wales.

Planting trees at soccer field 2016

Warner students planting pine seedlings

“Lake Wales will never forget what Warner University has done for the community,” said Fultz. “Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking part in this day.”

The volunteers then departed for their sites and various projects throughout Lake Wales. Some groups helped beautify the city by painting the police department jail cells, cemetery, and the Stuart-Dunn-Oliver house, clearing up and cleaning multiple alley ways throughout the city, planting trees outside the soccer complex, washing cars, and even picking up trash including 10 pounds of cigarette litter from the streets. Others were reminded of their childhoods as several groups spent their day participating in activities in 10 local schools.

“Wednesday’s activities prove how committed the residents of this area are to making the City a great place to live, learn, work and visit,” said Ken Fields, city manager of Lake Wales. “Again thank you for helping to make it all a great success.”

Over 300 of those who donated their time and hard work were students from Warner.

Painting Stuart Oliver Dunn House

Volunteers painting

“Over 1,600 volunteer hours were contributed back to the city of Lake Wales today,” said Leigh Ann Wynn, Warner’s Assistant Vice President for Advancement. “The students I worked with were enthusiastic and very proud of the work they were doing.”

The day was an execution of service to others and to the community. It was an example of the message Warner University represents, and with the participation of the students, it is hopefully the start of a long Warner University tradition.