Marvin Sowers

Name: Marvin Sowers

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired, Ameren Illinois

City of residency: Decatur

You've spent a lot of time volunteering with the Beautify Decatur Coalition. How did you first become involved with the group?

A coalition member and Ameren retiree, Ellen Hearn, invited me to join. I immediately thought it was something I wanted to do. 

What was it about Beautify Decatur that interested you?

I like the mission of Beautify Decatur, which is helping and improving the pride of Decatur by keeping it clean and promoting beautification. 

Why is beautifying the city important to you? 

I live here, and my family lives here, and I think it's important to live in a clean city. (Beautification) is also helpful to Decatur to bring in new employers and helps attract more businesses. 

What have been some highlights of your time as a Beautify Decatur volunteer? 

Last year, we had the America in Bloom contest come by and we competed nationally for how well we presented our city. That was a lot of fun. It involved a lot of cleanup efforts, developing a tour, writing a brochure — all kinds of things. 

We won a prize at the conference. It took a lot of efforts and a lot of different people.

Why should other people consider helping with Beautify Decatur's efforts? 

It's very rewarding to do work that makes a change, and you can actually see the results. It's a great family activity, too. I've got 25 members of my family that help doing all of that. It helps us bond more and gives us something to do together. 

I like passing along the community involvement spirit to my grandchildren. They get their hands dirty by picking up litter and doing all kinds of things. 

A look at previous Herald & Review '5 Questions'

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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