Volunteers sought for ‘Rake the Town’ event

Keeley Meier, staff writer

BV Journal file photo 

Kyle Ebel (from left), Quinn Gienapp and Evan Gienapp finish raking up the last of the leaves at a Brandon home last year.

The arrival of fall brings cooler weather, pumpkin patches and a whole lot of leaves.
This year, Brandon volunteers are putting on their gloves and wielding their rakes to help their neighbors in need. 
Rake the Town is an initiative that’s been growing in popularity in the past few years within the Midwest where volunteers come together to serve their community and rake the yards of those who are unable to do it themselves. 
The event, hosted by the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place on Friday, Nov. 6. 
Rachael Neiman, executive director of the BVACC, is excited for another chance to better the community.
“One of our priorities is community engagement and to make a positive contribution to our community,” Neiman said.
The idea came from a local business after their Sioux Falls branch hosted their own Rake the Town. The BVACC is partnering with United Way, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the betterment of communities worldwide.
“[United Way] will purchase gloves from Ace Hardware here in Brandon and leaf bags from Sunshine in Brandon,” Neiman said. “It was a way that the Chamber could get some assistance with the expense of having the event while still being able to give back to the community.” 
Those who wish to have their yards raked can call the BVACC to see if they’re eligible, and anyone who’d like to volunteer can sign up online or should call the BVACC at 582-7400. Volunteers must bring their own rakes, but garbage bags, gloves and a snack will be provided. The deadline to register is Oct. 23.
“Anyone can register as an individual person and we’ll assign them to a team, or you can register as a team,” Neiman said, adding that some businesses are using the event as a chance to fulfill volunteer hours as a company. 
Although the official event will be held on a Friday, Neiman said if a team or individual can’t get off work or doesn’t finish within the allotted time, the BVACC will be in contact with the homeowners to set up an extended or later time to get the job done. 
This is Brandon’s first official Rake the Town event, but Neiman hopes to see it grow in the years to come.
“Hopefully, every year it’ll get a little bigger.”


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