Boxers from KO Boxing and Fitness in Manhattan spent the morning of Saturday, Nov. 6 repainting Spring Valley Historic School on the corner of K-18 and Spring Valley Road in Junction City for the Geary County Historical Society.

Soldiers stationed at Fort Riley scraped the building at an earlier date, and the wooden annex portion of the mostly stone building needed to be repainted white. Ace Hardware and Sherwin Williams provided supplies for the project, and nine people from the boxing group came out to do the work.

Pedro Marquez, owner of KO Boxing and Fitness, said he encourages members of the gym to not only become better boxers, but also better people. He wants to find one volunteer opportunity each month that his group can participate in, and painting the historic school was the first.

“We have so many boxers around and people in the gym that are willing to help as well, and we know that there are always people in the community that could use some extra hands. We are fortunate to be healthy, to have numbers, to be able to move and do things,” he said. “Our motto is ‘making the world a better place one boxer at a time,’ so its more than just boxing.”

Heather Hagedorn, curator of the Geary County Historical Society, said they repaired and deep cleaned some of the log cabins in addition to the paint work. While they worked on the painting project, she said Ron Jackson, owner of Hot Rod’z BBQ, stopped by.

Hagedorn said Jackson thanked the group for their hard work and offered to feed all 12 of them at his business for lunch, so they took a break and accepted his offer.

Jackson said that as a history buff and former owner of a construction company which occasionally restored historic buildings, he has a special interest in historic restorations and was happy to see volunteers working on one.

He said he didn’t know the group was going to be volunteering out there, but when he drove by that day and saw them working, he wanted to offer them a random act of kindness.

“I just wanted to show them that our community appreciated it; at least I did,” Jackson said. “It looks really fresh now. It was showing a little wear with the paint peeling and such, but they put a new coat of primer and a new coat of paint.”

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