Group proves if there's a will, there's a way to improve town - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Group proves if there's a will, there's a way to improve town

GORHAM, IL (KFVS) -

Since the flood of 1993, the town of Gorham has been fading away a little at a time. The 2010 Census put the town's population at only 236 people, but some women in town are proving a few people can make difference.

"When your churches and your schools leave then you have problems," said Lillian Crain, a member of the Gorham Improvement Committee.

"Right now, all we have in this town is a post office. If we lose that, that's all Gorham," said member Sharazon Lindsey.

That's why a group of dedicated ladies known as the Gorham improvement committee is working to improve what Gorham's got.

"We started out with banners on Front Street and flowers," said group president Phyllis Verseman. "The more we got from our chili suppers and raffles we expanded."

The group put in playground equipment for the town's kids, and now they're nearing completion on their most ambitious project yet: the renovation of an old Gorham school building into a community center.

"They painted, cleaned, caulked, you name it they did it," said Lindsey.

With the help of a government grant, and a whole-lot of elbow grease, these ladies have made a show place for their small town.

"We are so small, we want to take pride in our town and this is the pride focal point." Lindsey said.

Their hope is  that pride will catch on. They say if folks in town see what 7 ladies can do, then maybe they'll tackle their own projects too.

"When you say the word 'Gorham' people kind of flinch," Verseman said. "We want them to be proud of Gorham, we want people to clean their yards and make things presentable - more pleasant to live in and we hope people will take more pride and interest in this small town."

The group invites everyone to come out and see their handiwork - their annual chili supper is November 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the new community center.

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