ALTON – Diana Kay loves her little house in the 3600 block of Horn Avenue in Alton – and especially so after Saturday’s annual Bucket Brigade event.
“It’s such an amazing gift,” she said of the annual day of donated paint-slinging. “It’s something that just freshens the house up to where it almost looks new. It was way more than I ever could have expected.”
It’s the 30th year of the original Bucket Brigade effort, founded by then-Pride Inc. President Dale Neudecker. Since then, the teams have gathered each May to paint nearly 1,500 homes.
Kay, herself, had a hand in more than a few of those.
She’d painted in Alton Bucket Brigades herself since high school. Her father led a Boy Scout troop that did the same.
“It was neat to be on that side of it, and do it for people who couldn’t do it themselves,” the career healthcare provider, with expertise in hospice work, said.
But even with her seemingly unbreakably bubbly spirit, her sentences stifle when describing what it means to be a Bucket Brigade recipient.
“I’m getting choked up,” she confides. “It was neat to be a part of it from that standpoint, and just do something for somebody. And then, a couple years ago, I found out I had a brain tumor and had a couple of strokes. Now, I can’t do that, but I need it done. These guys stepped up and are doing it for me. It’s all so incredible.”
Kay’s home, which she cheekily proclaimed the nicest on her street, was polished and painted by a team from the Junior League of Greater Alton, a loyal member of the Bucket Brigade.