L to R: Florian Waitl (Kansas); Jack Rosenberger (Minnesota); Stephanie Boedecker, Earth Team Unit Leader AmeriCorps NCCC (Wisconsin); Jerrod Irvin (Tennessee); Mayor Bruce D’Salas of Columbus NM; Carly Steinauer (Nebraska); Jill Morrone (New Hampshire); Michael Maria Peterson (Pennsylvania). Front Row L to R: Lonna Bradley (Michigan); Haley McKay (Georgia). Both Florian and Mayor D’Salas are long time FASF members.
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Florian Waitl (above photo at far left), of Kansas City, came to Columbus, to oversee the US Army Engineer School Team in their work at the FASF’s 1916 Historic Airfield the final week of last month.
While here, Mayor Bruce D’Salas of Columbus invited both Florian and Ric Lambart to join in with the AmeriCorps team along with some other local leaders, including another FASF member, Roberto Guttierez, in a celebratory and final closing get-together as the AmeriCorps Team finished up their Columbus area projects.
The gathering was designed by Mayor D’Salas to be an unstructured and interactive brain-storm or idea exchange to help with future similar engagements with other outside volunteer groups.
The AmeriCorps team members had some genuinely constructive ideas and suggestions for the City and its future operations. They also had an opportunity to learn more about Columbus and even its unique role as the cradle of American Air Power and Rebirth place of American Civil Aviation – – – and how that all actually led to the U.S. lead in outer space exploration.
L to R: Mayor Bruce D’Salas & Former Columbus Fire Chief, Ken Riley, explain how the city emergency services work.
According to the Team’s Leader, Stephanie Boedecker, the AmeriCorps Team has been operating out of Deming, NM (nearest large city to Columbus) since April 12th. They were brought to the area by the joint effort of the City of Deming and by the Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School.
City Councilman, business owner and long time FASF member, Roberto Guttierez, describes life on the Mexican border.
Some of the commitments made by the team during its sojourn out of Deming have been work done on projects such as: Deming park infrastructure; improvements at the charter school; renovations to the old Deming library; meal delivery with the senior center and assisting with a summer rec program for Deming children. They also spent considerable time in Columbus, and even Lordsburg and Silver City, NM.
FASF Historian, Florian, listens to Mayor D’Salas describe the AmeriCorps work in Columbus over the past months.
During the recent emergency crisis in Deming, when hundreds of Central, South American and Mexican refugees were unexpededly dumped on the City of Deming by the overloaded Federal Border Agencies, the AmeriCorps Team immediately volunteered to help with the migrant families and their children.
L to R: AmeriCorp Team members Carly Steinauer, Jill Marrone, and Haley McKay take in the conversations.
In Columbus and Lordsburg, the AmeriCorps members primarily did infrastructure work, such as painting and weeding. In Silver City they even helped out with the annual Gila Bike Tour event.