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FACELIFT AHEAD FOR CHILDS PARK

Want to help kids in Childs Park? Then consider volunteering to spruce up the area Aug. 4.

Civic organizations and financial services companies are donating money and manpower to install new signs and landscaping near Childs Park and renovate some of the facilities used by the Childs Park Junior Rattlers, a youth football team.

The effort is part of a national program that encourages companies who are part of the Financial Services Roundtable to get involved in their communities.

Janis Ford, the coordinator of the city's Weed and Seed program, says Childs Park was chosen this year because of local initiatives like Mayor Rick Baker's new program to increase economic opportunities in Childs Park.

The neighborhood runs from Fifth Avenue S to 18th Avenue S and from 34th Street S to 49th Street S. AEGON USA, BB&T, Raymond James Financial, State Farm, SunTrust and Wachovia are each providing $5,000 in cash and volunteers.

Local civic groups like the Childs Park Neighborhood Association and St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services are also helping.

In addition to painting the youth football concession stand and landscaping, volunteers will put up four new gateway signs near Childs Park.

"It will instill pride in the neighborhood," Ford said.

Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at araghunathan@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8472.

FAST FACTS

Join the crew

Volunteers will start gathering at Everyone's Youth United at 700 43rd St. S at 7 a.m. on Aug. 4. A ceremony will take place at 11 a.m., and activities could continue until 2 p.m.

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