Volunteer Clean-Up Day attracts 150

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2003

Even though they were out late Friday night attending an eighth-grade dance, Kim Riggle, Matthew Jones and other members of the Ironton Junior High Kids Care Club were up early Saturday morning planting flowers, placing mulch and cleaning up an area on Park Avenue in Ironton.

When his alarm clock went off this morning, Jones said he was "very tired," but still found a way to roll out of bed and help out in the fourth annual Volunteer Clean-Up Day.

"It is real good for the community," Jones said. "It just makes our city look a lot better. It shows we take pride in our community."

Email newsletter signup

And, as Riggle pointed out, it helps more than just the city.

"It makes for a cleaner environment," she said.

Missy Fields, advisor for the Kids Care Club, said this is the second year the group has taken part in the event.

"Part of our club is community service," Fields said. "Last year was the first year for our club. We did (the clean-up) and enjoyed it, so we decided to come back. It teaches the kids a lot, like taking care of their community and being proud of it."

Fields said the interest in the club has grown as well. It has blossomed from 29 students last year to 83 members this year.

IJHS Principal Jerry Watson, who was also lending a hand, said the club not only offered its service this year, but made a donation of $200 as well.

Randy Lilly, organizer of the Volunteer Clean-Up Day, said it is the youth of the community that makes events such as this one worthwhile.

"The thing that pleased me the most the huge amount of of kids involved," said Lilly, who estimates approximately 150 people helped on Saturday. "They seemed to enjoy themselves and did a good job, too.

In addition to the Kids Care Club, the Ironton High School chapter of the National Honor Society and a group of students from St. Joseph Junior High School helped. Some older folks pitched in, too. Lilly said members of the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs as well as many city workers helped as well.

More than 500 flowers were planted throughout the city. This year, Lilly said, 10 new Cleveland pear trees were planted in the downtown area, including three near the corner of Park Avenue and Third Street, two near the Park Avenue Apartments and two by the City Center.

Some took on pet projects, Lilly said.

Marvin and Janice Imes and Tom and Nancy Lewis spruced up the Railroad Street islands. The Second Street end of Railroad Street will eventually have a painted rock, featuring a steam engine, Lilly said. The rock is on order from the Buckeye Monument Company.

Jan Johnson led a crew that cleaned up the area next to the Ironton-Russell Bridge. Lilly said Johnson takes care of this area every year.

Steve Campbell, a veteran, spearheaded the clean-up of the riverfront at Center Street Landing, Lilly said. Charlie Kouns and others helped Campbell, Lilly said.

Even though Volunteer Clean-Up Day is officially over, Lilly said others have pledged to do more work this week. He said the city's

Coal Grove entrance at Third Street and its entrance at 141 will be spruced up later this week. In addition, some painting will be done at Beechwood Park.

Several groups and businesses donated money to the project. In addition to the Kids Care Club, Lilly said CSX, the Ironton Business Association, Sam's Club, the Moose, the Ironton Co-Op Club, the Rotary and Lions clubs, Eagles and Unger Shoes contributed nearly $2,500 collectively to help purchase the flowers and trees.

Through both the donations of both time and money, this year's Volunteer Clean-Up Day was a success, Lilly said.

"It was a tremendous turnout," he said. "Now we ask the individual businesses to take care of what we put there for them."