|Nolan Hamilton, 10, of Waltham Elementary and Shelba Bimm, a Utica emergency medical technician and dispatcher, trace stars on plywood Saturday at the Utica firehouse for the Stars of Hope project.|
NewsTribune photo/Jeff Dankert
|Stars of Hope|
Stars of Hope is a project of New York Says Thank You Foundation to bring hope and color through art to devastated communities. It began in 2007 when children in Greensburg, Kan., painted 220 Stars of Hope that were planted on street corners in Greensburg, devastated by a tornado.
In 2008, the children of Galveston, Texas decorated 400 Stars of Hope for their community, devastated by Hurricane Ike. That year, the children of Greensburg sent 200 stars to the children of Galveston.
The project hopes to eventually have children in all 50 states participate.
Volunteers cut plywood stars Saturday at Utica fire station that will be decorated and placed in East Coast neighborhoods crushed by Hurricane Sandy.
Students at Waltham and Grand Ridge schools will decorate the stars and in a few weeks Utica firefighter Harry Deacon will drive them to New York.
Stars of Hope is a project of New York Says Thank You Foundation to bring hope and color through art to communities hit by disasters.
Utica fire and ambulance personnel and other volunteers, with plywood donated from Golden Rule Lumber and Home Depot, cut out about 400 stars and painted them with a base coat Saturday. They will be passed on to students who will decorate them and add words of inspiration, said fire Lt. Ben Brown.
It’s payback for the generosity of the foundation in 2005 to help rebuild Utica and Granville, struck by a deadly tornado in 2004. The workforce included 15 New York firefighters who joined the United Way of Illinois Valley, the Ottawa Lions and other local clubs to plant 428 trees, build two gazebos, paint the Utica firehouse, repair homes, landscape Utica Village Hall and restore a baseball diamond.
“It’s grown into this huge organization,” Brown said.
Utica has paid back and received generosity in many ways as part of New York Says Thank You Foundation, Brown said. . In September Utica firefighters went to Minot, N.D. to help rebuild areas impacted by flooding. Last year, again part of the foundation’s work, the National 9/11 Flag made a visit to Utica.
The Utica fire department also donated $500, along with $100 from Duffy’s Tavern, to the foundation’s relief fund for Hurricane Sandy, Brown said.