City recognizes couple for beautification work

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July 9, 2011

Cumberland Times-News, Elaine Blaisdell

Cumberland Councilman Butch Hendershot, left, and Mayor Brian Grim, right, present Paul and Charlotte Lapp with a certificate on behalf of the Let’s Beautify Cumberland! Committee for their efforts to help keep the city beautiful.


Lapps maintain ‘Welcome to North End’ sign

CUMBERLAND — At last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Brian Grim presented Paul and Charlotte Lapp of Cumberland with a certificate of recognition on behalf of the Let’s Beautify Cumberland! Committee for their efforts to help keep the city beautiful.

The two have maintained the “Welcome to North End” sign and the plant and flower beds surrounding the sign on their own time and expense and contributed to many other beautification projects, said Councilman Butch Hendershot.

In addition to maintaining the sign, they have also worked security at the plant sale and cleaned out the bird houses at all the welcome signs without being asked, said Paul Yockus, co-chairman of Let’s Beautify Cumberland!

“You can’t count the number of gallons of water they’ve lugged down from their home to put on those flowers,” Hendershot said during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The Lapps carry about 25 gallons of water a block and a half every other day to water a plot on Franklin Street where the North End sign is located, according to Paul Lapp. The Lapps started working with Let’s Beautify Cumberland! after their neighbors, who had the plot on Franklin Street, asked them to cut the grass.

“They (Lapps) have done so much, it’s hard to just name one single thing they have worked on. They have been very active in the last five years or longer with Let’s Beautify Cumberland! Anytime we need a volunteer at all they are willing and able to jump in,” said Yockus. “They are pretty invaluable.”

The graffiti on the wall at the Valley Street Bridge recently came up at a beautification meeting. Committee leaders asked if anyone would volunteer to clean up the graffiti. “And this guy raised his hand and in three days it’s gone,” Hendershot said, motioning to Paul Lapp.

“If anything needs done I raise my hand to do it,” said Lapp. “We do it because we enjoy doing it. I’m 71 and I plan on helping with Let’s Beautify Cumberland! until my health no longer permits it.”

In their spare time, the Lapps participate in several civic organizations. Paul, who is a 1959 graduate of Fort Hill High School, is an avid Fort Hill football fan and participates in the Fort Hill F Club. He is also a member of the Mountain- side Marines Detachment 1071. Charlotte is a 1961 graduate of Fort Hill.

Let’s Beautify Cumberland! has participated in a variety of beautification projects in the area, including erecting welcoming signs, working on the Great Allegheny Passage, cleaning up Queen City Drive near the Holiday Inn and creating a myriad of projects for volunteers to complete during the United Way Day of Caring and Sharing, according to Yockus.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Staff writer Matthew Bieniek contributed to this story.