The cross located in Neosho’s Big Spring Park is getting a face lift.

The cross located in Neosho’s Big Spring Park is getting a face lift.

Volunteers from the Neosho Area Clergy Coalition, members of Teen Challenge of the Four States, and City of Neosho employees began work on Saturday, Aug. 25, to repair the cross.

“On last year’s Day of Service we saw what disrepair the cross was in,” said Jim Lowans, director of Teen Challenge of the Four States and president of the Neosho Area Clergy Coalition.

The clergy coalition, made up of several area churches, is holding their second annual Great Day of Service on Sunday, Sept. 9, and organizers are hoping the cross restoration will be complete by that time.

“On the Day of Service, at 5 p.m., we’ll have a re-dedication of the cross,” Lowans said.

Lowans said the dedication ceremony should last approximately 15 minutes, and will be a chance for attendees to learn about some of the history behind the cross.
The City of Neosho has chipped in to help fund the cross repairs, with the Neosho City Council voting at their last council meeting to pay $300 toward the cost of repairs.

The Neosho Area Clergy Coalition has raised the rest of the estimated $2,100 needed to fund the repairs. Volunteers from the Coalition and from Teen Challenge of the Four States are also providing the labor.

“Part of it had eroded away, so the city repaired the concrete work of the cross,” Lowans said.

He said volunteers then worked to lay down a special matting to keep weeds from growing up through the cross. After laying the matting, the workers began filling the interior of the cross with white stones.

“The plans are to clear out on the outside of the cross the weeds and grass and put down some type of vegetation to keep the weeds down,” Lowans said. 

On Tuesday, volunteers from Teen Challenge assisted in placing a protective wiring over the top of the cross.

The cross repair is just one of several community service projects volunteers are tackling as part of this year’s Great Day of Service.

On the day of the event, which kicks off at 2 p.m. in Big Spring Park, volunteers will scatter throughout town to assist with numerous small labor projects, including jobs such as working in flowerbeds, picking up trash, and cleaning.

Last year’s Great Day of Service drew approximately 200 volunteers, and organizers say they expect an even bigger turnout this year.