The images were engineered to correspond with the nearby businesses. A sheep knitting its own wool sits near the yarn shop. Fruit decorate the hydrant near Big-M Grocer. A dog and cat embellish a hydrant near the veterinarian.
“I’ve been a 4-H leader for 24 years and this was the most significant project our club has undertaken,” said Graupman. “It pulled the Walton community together. As people watched the kids work all summer long, we all realized the positive impact was substantial.”
Graupman recalled a day when the kids were out painting in the hot sun.
“A car drove up and the window rolled down,” he said. “The driver handed us a $10 and told us to get the kids ice cream for doing such a great job.”
Walton Village Mayor Ed Snow spoke, telling the 4-H members, “You can be proud of this achievement. Over 3,000 vehicles pass the hydrants each day and they notice what you did.”
Mayor Snow, representing the village, handed each 4-H Club member a letter, stamped with the village seal, thanking them for their contribution to the community.
“A copy of the letter will also be sent to the school to be kept in your records.”
Walton Fire Chief Robert Brown told the kids, “Thank you for your hard work and dedication. We will try to keep them looking good.”
Bagpiper Steve Scanlan again played as participants observed the unveiled fire hydrant.