Service project involves Iolans

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Iola city offices were closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but City Administrator Judy Brigham didn’t take the day off.
She, husband Tom — who works for the U.S. Postal Service — and granddaughter Jaci, 6, spent the day in Ottawa helping to take down and store Christmas decorations at the Franklin County Historical Society Museum. The community service project was indicative of the realm of service encouraged to honor Dr. King, and also will give the Brighams a financial leg up when they go to Florida to visit Disney World later this year.
“We heard on TV that Disney was giving free passes to Disney World to people who did community service projects for specified groups,” Brigham said.
Tom found more information online, including that the Ottawa museum was a participant. That worked well for the Brighams, as Jaci lives in Ottawa with her mother, the Brighams’ daughter Kaci Gull. Kaci was unable to participate because schools in Pomona, where she teaches, were in session.
It was coincidence that the Brighams picked King Day to do community service, but the implications weren’t lost on Judy.
“I think it’s important that you give something back to your community,” she said.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established by Congress in 1994 to be a national day of service, the only federal holiday so designated.
Brigham said the project gave her granddaughter an opportunity to learn more about segregation and issues to do with race.
“There was a Civil War program at the museum while we were there,” she said. “During the program Jaci asked what slavery was. Now she knows.”