Project Tangerine is Mayor Gerard Neugebauer vision for making Green a better community. His vision is to collectively and collaboratively build a better Green. His vision is to create a group of leaders in our community who would be willing to help promote this idea of volunteering, sharing and broadening our horizons to make us all better. He envisions the City as a conduit to making connections for those willing to give - not necessarily money, but give of their time, experience and expertise.
The Story Behind Project Tangerine
As shared by Mayor Gerard Neugebauer during his State of the City Address on January 28, 2016.
I was one of 9 children in my family growing up in Firestone Park in Akron. Looking back, we were probably poor, although we were raised ethnic German as middle class.
We did not have a lot of things, nor could we afford some of the finer foods. We gardened for our fresh vegetables… and mom made our bread and cooked dinner for the 11 of us every day starting early in the afternoon.
I recall in 5th grade, many of my classmates buying lunches from the school didn’t like many of the items in their lunch and simply threw them away...especially the fruits and vegetables. I’m sure many of them gave me parts of their lunch… mostly pear halves or fruit cocktail. But I distinctly remember the tangerines, mostly because we never had them at home, but they were also un-pealed so they could be saved for later. On the days that tangerines were served for lunch, I would stand by the trash can at the end of lunch with my lunch bag, and collect a bag full of these treasured items and take them home to share with my brothers and sisters.
While grateful for the generosity of others, I was always struck that they didn’t appreciate what they had.
As I grew older, I always remained thankful for what I had. And I started helping other. I volunteered at CYO Camp Happiness, a day camp for mentally-challenged members of our community. After High School, I volunteered as a High School Soccer coach at St. V - St. M. As a parent, I again coached youth soccer. But I also became active in my Engineering Professional Society, including our work with the Jr. High School program Math COUNTS. I volunteered for the City of Green initial Design Review Board. I joined our community in constructing the Heritage Hill playground in 2002. Each one of these opportunities showed me how all these activities build community, and how the strength of our community is in our businesses and citizens, working together to make all our lives better."