Jason and Livian Sakal

Jason Sakal (left) of Meadville holds open a garbage bag as his 4-year-old daughter, Livian, shows him a piece of trash she found in Diamond Park during the first Thankful Thursday in April.

Activists and do-gooders in the Meadville area will converge on the Meadville Area Recreation Complex on Thursday to express their gratitude to the city and its residents in the form of service.

The event is the third “Thankful Thursday,” an ongoing series of what organizer John Hartnett called “community service flash mob” events that have taken Meadville by storm in recent weeks.

The first brought volunteers to the streets surrounding Diamond Park, where they collected a truckload of trash before meeting up at the gazebo for music and refreshments. Another truckload of trash was gathered in and around Bicentennial Park for the second event — despite a steady downpour.

This Thursday's event is from 5 to 7 p.m. Participants, who are invited to help with indoor cleaning and outdoor work, also are welcome to take a dish to share.

“The point is we’re just trying to foster an ‘attitude of gratitude,’” Hartnett said. “I feel like there’s a lot to be thankful for in this town.”

Hartnett was particularly excited to help out at the MARC, where he had his first job as a kid.

“They’re in it for the community,” he said.

Fellow organizer Jason Sakal echoed Hartnett’s sentiments.

“If Chris Nuzback (operations manager at the MARC) doesn’t have to worry about cleaning up the place, she can better utilize her funds elsewhere like programs for kids,” he said.

In addition, Sakal explained, the Thankful Thursdays events have been fun ways for people interested in contributing to Meadville’s success to get together — and to get more people involved in those efforts.

“Making a beautiful community definitely helps keep people here,” he said. “We want to pitch in and thank everyone for all the hard work these people put in.”

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.

You can go

“Thankful Thursday” is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Meadville Area Recreation Complex, 800 Thurston Road. Participants are invited to help with indoor cleaning and outdoor weeding and mulching. Participants are also welcome to take a dish to share following the cleanup activities as a DJ provides musical entertainment. 

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