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franklin county times

It's a sense of community …
Russell Community Development Club

By By Frank Thompson/Special to The Star
May 27, 2001
Editor's note: Russell Community Development Club was selected Top Club for 2000.
It's all about a sense of community. You can live anywhere, but it is that sense of community that makes a place your home.
Today, with our obligations to work and our family, it is harder to develop the feeling of community. It is easy to come home, eat dinner and watch television without becoming involved. Where we once knew our neighbors and spent time volunteering on community projects, we now may not even know our neighbors' names. Many people have no desire to get involved. They leave that for others.
The Community Development Clubs serve an important role in holding together the areas throughout the counties as communities. The county is changing with a growing number of people moving into the rural settings. It is imperative that the community development clubs provide a relevant forum to develop and maintain the sense of community.
Russell is located adjacent to the Meridian city limits and the Marion town limits. Housing has increased in the area through several new residential developments. For people living in Russell, it is very easy to hop into the car and be in town moments later. It's easy to drive into town for church on Sunday. Youth sports activities are within easy reach outside the community.
The sad point is, one can live in Russell without ever being a part of the community.
The Russell Community Development Club has served as an important part of the community's fiber for more than 35 years. Through the club, residents have banded together through volunteerism to improve the quality of life for all the people who live in Russell. The community's water system originated through the club. The Russell Volunteer Fire Department started through the club. Both have had significant changes on the community.
Today, the club still focuses on issues that face the community. With deaths resulting from two accidents at one of the community's six rail crossings, rail safety has been a club's concern. Through the club, community members are also informed on a number of issues by local officials and experts.
The need for a new community house has been identified and members of the Russell CDC and the Russell Volunteer Fire Department are working together to plan for the community's future needs through the new community house. It will take time and money to construct the larger, more modern facility. But as it was done in 1951 when the people of Russell built the existing community house, members of the community will build this one.
I am proud to be a member of the community, not just a resident. I encourage other people to join their local community development club and develop their own sense of community. At Russell we meet at 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday night each month. Please come join us. Be sure to bring a covered dish, we always start with a potluck dinner. Best way to get to know your neighbors is over a shared dinner.
Frank Thompson is president of the Russell Community Development Club.