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10/31/2013 9:07:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Never too late to make a difference

Sebastian Moraga
Staff writer

Decked in Cougar crimson, pants, and with a well-loved iPod in one of her pockets, Cashmere's Jessica Alloway would stand out a la Marty McFly if her wishes ever came true.

"If I could live during any time," the 17-year-old said, "It probably would have been during the Civil War [era]."

Not only does she own a Civil War-era dress she likes to wear, she said, but she's confesses a deep admiration for the old-fashioned work ethic of those days.

"I like to work," she said, adding that her mother is the same way, old-fashioned, loving to cook and bake things from scratch, chopping and cutting.

That work ethic came in handy last Sunday, when Alloway and other members of Christ Center celebrated a belated -by 24 hours- version of Make a Difference Day by performing tasks all around Cashmere.

Alloway could be found at Cashmere High School raking leaves and blades of grass, away from the leaf-blowers ("I'm kind of old fashioned, I don't like machines," she said), and near a couple of girls who weeded a flower bed, picked up trash and trimmed trees.

While Alloway ignored her allergies, 14-year-old Caroline Berglin and 15-year-old Jennifer Boyd ignored the rain that spent the afternoon making cameos.

"We will be all right," Berglin said, "We are not the Wicked Witch of the West."

Boyd said she did not know what to expect of her first Make a Difference Day in Cashmere, which helped, she said, since it readied her to "do whatever."

If she had her pick of what to do for Make a Difference Day, Berglin said she would feed homeless people. Boyd said she would probably do small acts of kindness.

Quipped Berglin, "Like build a spaceship?"

No, Boyd said laughing. More like putting on an event for the city's teenagers.

This was Berglin's first Make a Difference Day. Boyd said that in her former hometown of Cle Elum, teenagers gathered often for community projects.

"Anything I can do to be of service to others," she said, "I look forward to doing."

Steve Haney, youth pastor at Christ Center, said this is the fourth year the church holds Make a Difference Day activities. It's not something the church announces or advertises, he said, but it's something the members know.

"We know that on this Sunday, we wear our work clothes," he said. "We do our normal service and then we go when we are needed."

Besides the half-dozen people at the high school, the church had teams at some Cashmere homes -aiding widows and people with disabilities, Haney said--, and at its own Underground, the church's youth and teen rooms.

Then, at night, the teams dressed in black and performed random acts of winterizing, or as the group calls it, "Ninja Raking."

"We get on a bus, we make stops, we disperse, we rake leaves and then we get back in," Haney said.

There's room for everyone, Haney said, at a Make a Difference Day.

"Young old, singles, families, everyone can find a way to help someone," he said. "Every year is a bit different, and we love it. It's our privilege."

Alloway is also a Make a Difference Day veteran. Last year, she said she went as far as East Wenatchee to participate. She also worked cleaning the inside of the school. Allergies aside, she said she prefers working outside. She likes working at a school for one day. If she had her druthers, Alloway's school would be a tad smaller.

"It would be fun to be in a one-room schoolhouse," she said, a nod to her love of all things late nineteenth century. Told that there were no iPods in the era of Lincoln, she shrugs.

"I would have made my own music," she said. "I would have ended up like my mom, who is singing all the time."

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or

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