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PHOENIX -- More than 1,500 mayors across the country paid tribute to volunteers on Tuesday during the Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service.

In Phoenix, Vice Mayor Jim Waring read a proclamation honoring some 1,300 volunteers in the Phoenix area. He did it in front of 50 volunteers from the groups Americore and Seniorcore at the Children First Academy in south Phoenix.

"Thank you for the service," Waring said. "Obviously, the city is in budget straits right now, and so we need some volunteers to step up and fill in some need."

He said that the volunteers come from all walks of life.

"Some of them are still in school. I just talked with a fella who is going to leave and it sounds like he is going to go to law school," Waring said. "Then we have folks who are definitely further along in years and want to give back to the community."

Waring said that volunteers are doing a lot of things that Phoenix can't do because of its $38 million budget deficit.

"They're paving parking lots and taking care of abandoned houses," Waring said. "Those are things that normally your government takes care of, but we're running a little short (of money) this year."

The Corporation for National and Community Service said there are over 4,400 volunteers doing projects at more than 730 Arizona locations.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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