Plant City-based Top Gun Wrestling Academy doesn’t usually offer landscaping services, but the group made an exception on Nov. 2 when Cork Elementary School needed helping hands.
A crew of Top Gun wrestlers, coaches and parents drove out the the school that morning to give the school’s garden some much-needed attention. With the volunteers’ help, Cork’s reading garden looked as good as new before noon.
Refreshing the garden was on the mind of guidance counselor Tim Godshall for a long time. It had fallen on tough times in recent months due to extremely rainy weather and, because the school system doesn’t offer schools grants for this sort of work, this was a project that needed outside help.
Godshall knew exactly who to call. Coach Will Terry and the Top Gun coaches put together a crew of volunteers from within their ranks. A pair of Dover businesses, Staggs Nursery and Blue Gator Lawn Service, helped with the supplies they’d need to work. The school also got to work with donations it had gotten from student ambassadors within its Leader in Me program.
“We’re big believers in service in our wrestling club, so when my buddy Tim put the call out and said he needed some help, it was a no-brainer,” Terry said. “We want these kids to know we’re here to serve the community. I went to Cork as a kindergartener, so to give back to a school where someone helped make me the man that I am… it was a no-brainer.”
The volunteers got there around 8 a.m. and left no stone unturned. They trimmed up the plants, pulled weeds, installed new mulch, pressure washed the walkways, fixed up the giant checkerboard and more.
“Everybody here is somehow related, knows somebody or went to church with somebody, so it’s all a community thing to help out,” Godshall said. “This is gonna be for the students every day to read in, to hang out in and to enjoy, and we just want it to look nice. We don’t have those funds, so we can’t just go pay a landscaping company a lot of money. We have to look to the community and it’s great that we have these resources to help us out.”