‘The best feeling … to know that you’re helping out’



For three Cummins Inc. Seymour Engine Plant employees, volunteering at the Tri-County Conservation Club took on a special meaning.

Max Lance, Rebekah Gambrel and Stacy DeWeese grew up in the area of the Crothersville club and often went there to fish, camp, play basketball or horseshoes, participate in a gun shoot or purchase food during the popular fish fries.

But in recent years, they have seen the facility go downhill a little bit.

When Lance saw the conservation club on the list of projects for the 20th annual Jackson County United Way Day of Caring, he made sure he was a part of the work crew.

“Whenever I saw this on the list, I was all sorts of excited. I went through a lot of trouble to get traded to make sure I was on this particular project,” said Lance, a research and development technician at Cummins who lives near the conservation club.

“It gets hard watching it go downhill because you love it so much from being here when you were young. You hate to see it, but you almost feel helpless,” he said. “They’ve got a nice place here. It just needs a little TLC to get it back where it was.”

Lance, Gambrel and DeWeese were among 12 Cummins employees who spent time Friday painting the ceiling and tables inside the conservation club and spreading mulch, painting posts, picking up limbs and fixing horseshoe pits, a dam and a driveway outside the facility along East County Road 800S.

“You just remember when it was really nice when you were younger and how well taken care of it was,” Lance said. “Now, we’re all a little older, and people have kind of almost forgot about it, so I’m hoping that with all of this cleanup and stuff that we can get more people back down here and get some more revenue and get the place back like it was when we were young.”

Gambrel said she started going to the conservation club at a young age with her family.

“We would just come out and camp and fish and make a whole weekend of it,” said Gambrel, a Crothersville native who now lives in Seymour and works in materials at Cummins.

DeWeese said the basketball courts drew her out to the conservation club. She lives in nearby Austin and also works in materials at Cummins.

“I remember coming out here and playing basketball, and it was so pretty and so peaceful out here,” she said. “We would come out here and play for hours.”

Gambrel and DeWeese both said it meant a lot to them to help make improvements for the club.

“I haven’t been out here for a long time, so it’s kind of reminiscent, and it just feels good to be able to come back and see everything and be able to help fix it up,” Gambrel said.

“With so many negative things you’re hearing about around here anymore in southern Indiana, it’s kind of nice to be able to come back out here and fix it up a little bit,” DeWeese said.

Cummins had more than 600 of its employees volunteering with Day of Caring projects around the county.

Gambrel and DeWeese both said they are glad to work for a company that values community service.

“I’m just thankful because I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to volunteer at other places I’ve worked, so I think it’s great that Cummins allows their employees to do that,” Gambrel said. “I think it’s important to give back to the community. It really hits home when you get to come to a place where you grew up.”

DeWeese has worked for Cummins for only about four months, but she already has seen the good work it does outside of the plant.

“I’ve worked at some good places, but it’s nice to work for a place that’s so passionate about giving back and family-oriented,” she said. “It’s really a big change, and I love it. It’s really nice.”

Now that upgrades have been made, members of the Cummins crew said they hope to visit the conservation club more often.

“I’ll maybe bring my nephew out here to play ball or something like that like I used to growing up,” DeWeese said.

“I just had my first kid, so I would love to bring him over here and let him fish here just like I did when I was younger,” Lance said. “The best feeling of (volunteering) is probably to know that you’re helping out not only me, but other people get to bring their kids back here. With it being fixed up, it’s a lot easier to bring them here and know that everything is going to be happy, healthy and safe.”

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