In November 2012 on the 50th anniversary of my Dad’s death my sister Marian and I visited our dad’s gravesite
in the Dresden Cemetery.
We then went
downtown Dresden for a coffee, I found the buildings to be absolutely amazing but felt they looked tired and some in need of a facelift. I was in the process of creating a Visual Merchandising Business and thought that Dresden would
be a great place to start.
I spoke with Christal
Wiils President of the Dresden BIA and owner of McKellar Flower and Gifts to see if she would be interested in having me make a presentation for the BIA. (Business Improvement Association).
I created a Project called “Let’s Paint the Town”
After seeing my presentation and proposal the BIA hired me to spearhead
There were 13 businesses that received a face lift they included…..Bella’s Café, Lonnie’s Hair Salon, Chiropractor
office, L’il Hoarder’s, McTavish Pharmacy, Verna’s Sewing Centre, Shelley’s Painted Treasures, Coco Beach , Dr. D’Hondt Optometrist office, Foxy Cuts Hair Salon, McKellar Flower’s and Gifts, and Arim’s Discount
On Sept. 13th the day before our event
we had about 30 volunteers signed up…….to our surprise and delight at 9am we had over 70 folks show up to Volunteer.
They were between 10 years old to 70 year old. Most were from the Dresden Community and some volunteers came from as far away as London and Windsor.
Once the Merchants understood how the project would work they were
thrilled to join in. “ Neighbour helping Neighbour”.
The sponsors included Lumberjack Home Building Center ( all the paint ), Dresden Home Hardware (paint brushes, rollers, trays ,and painting supplies), R Rentals (power washer), Dresden Meat Packers (hamburgers/hotdogs), Burns Restaurant
(snacks), Captured Moments ( logos printing for hats and t-shirts).
Shelley’s Painted Treasures (painted all the street flags), Verna’s Sewing Centre (sewed all the street flags) Unilever (ice cream), CKXS 99.1 fm (BBQ set up) , 3D Balloons,
Let’s Get Fit helped volunteers stretch and warm up before starting to paint. Musicians
roamed the street.
Many sponsors supplied,
tables, musical equipment , water, pop and supplies for BBQ
The first 50 volunteers received a hat and t-shirt with the “Let’s Paint the Town” logo.
Deb Miller from Lumberjack Building center, Shawn Smith, owner of Classic Restoration and Design and Lee Brooker, a professional painter lent their expertise to help create a repair
and painting supply list.
It was important
to that all supplies and services be either purchased or donated by Dresden Merchants …..and they came through with flying colours!!
September 14th the day of our event was a beautiful sun shinny day the weather was perfect the temperature was perfect and the amazing energy from the Volunteers was outstanding.
The volunteers were so excited and energized. They talked, they laughed, they worked hard and in ONE day they painted the town!!
Dresden folks came down to see what was happening, people driving through stopped and walked around town…the buzz around town was terrific!!
My personal take on the day was, it felt like we were all in a “feel good” movie only it was real ….Community Spirit and Community Pride is alive and well in Dresden. The day was more than just putting paint on
a building it was about Community at its best!!...... Neighbour Helping Neighbor……” Like the old Barn raising Days”
When I was very little my Grandpa Ogletree’s Barn burnt down and shortly after that my Grandpa was in a terrible accident which left him in
a coma for several days. His friends, family and neighbors band together and rebuilt his barn, that is where my vision for the merchants and residents of Dresden came from.
I was humbled and in awe of the folks in Dresden they really came through for each other,what a caring and kind Community.
Our thanks to teen photographer Nathan Vercauteren for giving his time and talent in producing an impressive
photo gallery for "Let's Paint The Town".
Please click the link shown
here to view the Nathan Vercauteren, Paint The Town Photo Gallery