Williams employees (top, from left) Melissa Iddings, Tammy Bonnice and Amanda Armanini pull weeds from flower beds at the Wyoming County Fairgrounds on the company’s Day of Caring.
There’s a lot to do every summer in preparation for the Wyoming County Fair. On Aug. 9, about 45 employees from Williams Companies converged on the fairgrounds west of Meshoppen to help organizers with a variety of tasks as a Day of Caring.
Williams employees are no strangers to volunteering, but they took a different approach this year. In the past, they have helped the Kiwanis in their fair food stand. They have also taken on different projects in smaller groups by department. “This year, we decided to do one day with everybody,” said Williams’ Tammy Bonnice.
Williams’ Chris Eckman (above, left) credited fellow employee Tom Meadows for coming up with the idea of sending one large crew to the fairgrounds to a get a substantial amount of work done. Chris worked with Tom and Steve Salters (above, right) to rebuild flower boxes. In the past, Chris noted that he has planted trees and worked at Patriots Cove on Williams’ Day of Caring.
“Giving back is a core value of Williams, and the fairgrounds have been a great neighbor in our community,” said Williams’ R.J. Bartoli. “Personally, volunteering helps me remember how fortunate we are and helps keep me balanced.”
“I try to help every year as my schedule permits,” said Melissa Iddings. In the past, her volunteer activity on behalf of Williams has included maintenance of a walking trail in Susquehanna County, bagging food at a food pantry, and walking dogs at True Friends in Montrose.
Fairground managers had allowed Williams to use space there for general operations training during the peak of the pandemic to allow for safe-distancing, so Melissa was happy to help them in return. Jeremy Sprague (below, right) echoed those sentiments. He and R.J. (below, left) painted the walls of the photo exhibit area before he also painted a ticket booth.
Melissa, Tammy and Amanda Armanini were among those pulling a lot of weeds and sprucing up flower beds across the fairgrounds. Amanda will be attending the fair with her family and related that her Day of Caring efforts are geared toward “improving the community that my children live in.”
“It takes a lot of work to prepare for the fair, which we all enjoy,” Bret Cooley remarked. He was busy all morning pressure washing benches with Derek Welch, who has helped at the fairgrounds in various capacities over the years due to his father’s involvement with the Kiwanis. Both Bret (Below, right) and Derek (left) look forward to taking their families to the fair, which runs from Sept. 1 to 6.
Williams is among numerous companies and organizations who supply volunteers before and during the Wyoming County Fair, and fair board secretary Pam Burke is among those coordinating their efforts. “It really brings back to mind that we live in a great community where everybody wants to give back,” Pam stated. “Because the fair is a nonprofit and run by volunteers, it means the world to us when local businesses give the time to make the work happen.”
“The Wyoming County Fair is an important event for our community, providing space for so many people to exhibit their wares and share their talents,” Tammy remarked. “When I attend the fair this year, I’ll smile as I walk past those flower beds, fences, and bleachers knowing that we were given such a great opportunity to do our share.”