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Volunteers ‘get dirty’ for United Way’s Day of Caring

Clint Wagner, Mackenzie Cleeper and Allison Drenning volunteer at the Central Pa. Dance Workshop to help them clean out their costume closet during the United Way Day of Caring on Thursday, October 5, 2017.
Clint Wagner, Mackenzie Cleeper and Allison Drenning volunteer at the Central Pa. Dance Workshop to help them clean out their costume closet during the United Way Day of Caring on Thursday, October 5, 2017. adrey@centredaily.com

One man’s junk may be another man’s treasure — either way it eats up a lot of space.

There are stacks of boxes occupying valuable studio real estate inside of the Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop in downtown State College, liberating a very narrow closet toward the back from about 25 years worth of fermented clutter.

Some are labeled very specifically — cowboy hats, Viking helmets, swords — while others just list a jumble of different colors as their sole descriptor.

“I saw a box that was labeled ‘1988,’ ” said Jill Brighton, director of CPDW.

That designation may have been referring to some old files or the monkey costume spread out on the floor nearby.

To have people come and generously donate their time and get dirty for us, it’s huge. It makes it doable.

Jill Brighton

Sorting through the particulars would fall to the workshop’s faculty. Returning it all to the very tall shelves in the very teeny closet was the task awaiting the four volunteers from Morefield Communications who were in State College for Centre County United Way’s Day of Caring.

“To have people come and generously donate their time and get dirty for us, it’s huge. It makes it doable,” Brighton said.

“Doable” was a major factor for Allison Drenning when combing through the list of more than 100 sites looking for volunteers.

I honestly didn’t think that I could build a roof or anything of that sort.

Allison Drenning

“I honestly didn’t think that I could build a roof or anything of that sort,” Drenning said.

Many of the costumes that have been unearthed here will probably be repurposed for future shows.

A box of top hats caught the eye of faculty member Erin Hanses, who was already thinking about a series of workshops she could arrange that would correspond with First Friday events downtown.

“The more props and things we can find, I think that makes it really fun for people,” Hanses said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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