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Civic Pride campaign announces first events

PHOTO COURTESY OF MELISA FONSECA Members of the civic pride campaign for My Marshalltown include Melisa Fonseca, Maria Gonzalez-Alvarez, Mickey McDonald, Gabe Isom (not pictured), Neil Dalal, Ely Harris-Medina, Michelle Reed and Robert Maharry.

Melisa Fonseca, a local REALTOR ® and candidate for city council in Marshalltown, is a woman with a plan. Fonseca and eight other members are part of the Civic Pride Campaign, led by author and speaker Jeff Siegler, which they have dubbed My Marshalltown/Mi Marshalltown.

“The civic pride campaign is to inspire our fellow neighbors and highlight the different aspects which makes Marshalltown an amazing place to live. The civic pride is appreciating the immense effort, ownership, beauty, sense of community, legacy, and progress Marshalltown has seen and will see,” Fonseca said.

Each member has been working on their project to make this possible. The group includes Fonseca, Ely Harris-Medina, Maria Gonzalez Alvarez, Michelle Reed, Neil Dalal, Mickey McDonald, Gabe Isom and Robert Maharry.

“My project is called Beautifying Our Block, in which I will gather volunteers, do some cleaning up on every block, and do some gardening. I am working on my master gardener service hours and thought it would be a great way to engage with the community,” Fonseca said.

Other members of the group, such as Harris-Medina and Reed, are working on a project that is open to all. They are creating a nature club at Grimes Farm, where events will be designed to be inclusive and welcoming for everyone, including children. This initiative aims to provide a platform for socializing and participation in fun activities for all members of the community.

Maria Gonzalez-Álvarez is working on a project called Social Sunday. This event will feature food and drinks and will be a great place for socializing and networking.

Dalal is currently working on a website, where all events will be posted. The purpose of the website is to have a central spot where residents can get information about what great projects are happening in Marshalltown, and how it benefits them and our community.

“The revitalization of Peterson Park is a tremendous positive change for the adjacent neighborhood and community. The new amenities allow kids to play on the new playground, have pick-up soccer and basketball games, and have a shelter to allow neighborhood social connections. The park’s proximity to the trail will enable users to make it a destination or turnaround point,” he said. “As residents, we should celebrate small and big wins like these, as they better our lives by offering a safe area to play and socialize. We should be proud to help keep the park clean and neat so everyone can enjoy it. Kiwanis Park along 3rd Avenue near Hoglan Elementary is also transforming. This will be another opportunity to celebrate the small wins happening in our community.”

This should make us feel proud of our community, which is what the civic pride campaign is about.

McDonald is part of the LGBTQ+ group project, which is working on cleaning up downtown throughout the next 12 months.

The civic pride campaign will kick off with a grand event on June 23 at Peterson Park, 1503 Woodbury St. in Marshalltown. The event will start with a community clean-up at 3 p.m., followed by a free dinner at 5 p.m. This is a unique opportunity for the community to come together, contribute to the improvement of their city, and enjoy a delicious meal in the newly improved Peterson Park.

“This event is really about getting the people to know this park is on the trail and has been improving and we want people to see it and know it’s there. Our community has the opportunity to come together and celebrate the small wins together,” Fonseca said.

Together, they’re working to inspire Marshalltown residents to take pride in their city and become active participants in its improvement.

Fonseca’s vision for this event is clear: she wants to foster connections and socializing among the residents of Marshalltown.

“I have always been a volunteer and advocate for this community and still am. I have a ton of volunteering experience, and it’s not going to stop here,” she said.

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