Operation Sparkle deemed a tremendous success

By: Matt Brower
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On the morning of Oct. 8, more than 100 community volunteers heeded the call of Operation Sparkle and amassed in Lincoln’s historic downtown.  Arriving with work gloves and a can-do attitude, volunteers dedicated their time and efforts to sprucing up, undertaking a spring cleaning of sorts, preparing the downtown for its grand unveiling on Oct. 17 (this Saturday).  
By noon, the make-over was nearly complete.  Volunteers had painted fire hydrants, sanded and stained wooden benches, removed graffiti, mulched flower beds, weeded and provided general trash clean-up, cleaned windows, refreshed areas with new paint, and in the end, made a tremendous impact in the historic downtown area.
My greatest thanks go out to many people and organizations that have invested time and money in the downtown area.  
First, thank you, volunteers!  Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   The volunteers who responded to the call of Operation Sparkle are difference makers, making a real difference in our historic downtown. Also thank you to San Francisco Bay Coffee Company, Farmers Insurance agent Ed Mertens and Walmart Neighborhood Market for donating coffee, snacks and food to help us show our volunteers how much we appreciate them.
With the completion of phase one of the historic downtown streetscape project, along with the general refreshing and final touches provided courtesy of our volunteers, Lincoln is ready for the grand unveiling and ribbon cutting programmed for Saturday.  Lincoln is ready to unveil its alluring downtown to the region.   I know the project itself created many challenges for some of our downtown businesses and I want to especially thank them for believing in this project and working with us on this important project. In the long term, I am certain this project will improve the economic fortunes of our downtown businesses and the broader community. Thank you, thank you.
Special thanks to our mayor and council for recognizing the importance of our community’s downtown
Although I’ve served as your community’s city manager for but a short period of time, I’m honored to have the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with so many passionate and caring people.  Lincoln is a great place in large part to the commitment of our community’s volunteers.  Thank you, volunteers.  I’ll see you at Saturday’s celebration.
Matt Brower is the Lincoln city manager.