A while back, I wrote about volunteerism in Ottawa.

Recall there was concern about Ottawa Municipal Auditorium and the work needed to renovate it. This followed on the heels of the thousands of people volunteering to construct the Hill home for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” I was wondering why it wouldn’t be possible to get volunteers for the auditorium and offered to provide the T-shirts as an incentive for the workers, just like the “Extreme” TV show had done. And Jeanny Sharp recently wrote a Herald editorial on the subject.

Well, I am here to tell you that volunteerism is alive and well in Ottawa. Donna and I joined the group Saturday at Kanza park to assemble the new playground equipment and were pleased to be among neighbors who dug holes; mixed concrete in wheelbarrows, which were then pushed to those holes and emptied; climbed, lifted and turned wrenches to get a slide assembled; used their expertise and tools to level the equipment, constructed devices to assure the alignment of parallel bars, spread mulch, served food and more.

This was beautifully organized and coordinated. We worked with people from Walmart and Trendel Lumber, the president of Great Southern Bank, a couple who just moved into town with four children, members of the Rotary Club, the director of Ottawa’s streets, the director of Ottawa planning and codes, the director of Ottawa information technology and several other city employees. And those are just the ones I remember.

Kudos to everyone. Our city is a better place. Be proud.

— Richard Warren, Ottawa