By Renée Massey
Any reader who has participated with the Cooper-Young Community Association (CYCA) — whether at a fundraiser, at a community event, on social media, or at a neighborhood meeting — has likely encountered Edward Greene. A resident of Cooper-Young for over 30 years, Edward is one of the most ardent advocates for this unique neighborhood and the community association that works so hard to keep it vibrant and connected. A tireless solicitor of financial and volunteer support, Edward doesn’t just “talk the talk;” he also “walks the walk.”
Edward’s volunteer work quite literally includes a walk every month when he delivers the community newspaper, LampLighter, to his friends and neighbors on Evelyn. Friendly volunteers like Edward bring LampLighter to the doorstep of hundreds of residents and businesses 11 months of the year. These volunteers don’t just get the neighborhood news out. They’re connecting with long-time neighbors, welcoming new ones to the neighborhood, establishing a monthly presence, and noticing safety issues on their route.
This month, Edward shares his thoughts on volunteering with the CYCA, why he thinks it is important, and why he loves Cooper-Young:
How long have you lived in Cooper-Young?
About 30 years now.
How long have you been a CYCA volunteer delivering LampLighter? How did you get involved delivering LampLighter?
I have been delivering Lamplighter for about 15 years. My late wife, Beverly, just announced one day we should take a LampLighter route, so we started delivering on Evelyn.
What other CYCA activities have you volunteered for in the past? Any favorites?
The only two events I know of that I haven’t worked are the home tour years ago and the [Cooper-Young Regional] Beer Festival. The beer festival is too much fun for me to attend. Each event has its own special appeal, so it is impossible to pick a favorite.
What motivates you to volunteer with the CYCA?
Motivates me? I love Cooper-Young and really like living in the cool neighborhood. I want it to just keep improving. I have always felt like we have to pay rent for being on earth, and volunteering is just my way of paying rent.
I also just think it is the right thing to do. As a past president of CYCA once said, it is a fact that neighborhoods don’t improve themselves. Volunteering is just fun. I have made so many friends through it. At each event I see old friends and make new ones.
What are your favorite things about Cooper-Young? What do you think makes Cooper-Young special?
My favorite things about CY are of course my neighbors, both individuals and businesses. I know there is not another neighborhood in the city — and I doubt in the country — that is as great as Cooper-Young. We aren’t just neighbors but, in so many ways, a family.
Three things make CY so special. First, the people who live here; I included businesses in that. Then the LampLighter … only neighborhood I know of with a real, regular newspaper, not one sheet put out occasionally or email blasts. And third, the trestle art. I don’t think there is another like it in the world.
I personally know how citizens of Cooper-Young are there to help when something happens. I saw the outpouring of love when we lost Doug Grooms. I was the receiver when my wife died. And then saw how neighbors reacted when Noopy Dykes’ family had a tragedy. I could tell many stories of the greatness of people in this neighborhood.