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Cleanup Day marks 10th year

IRONTON — The polish for the city’s upcoming summer season will take place again this year as Saturday, May 2 marks the 10th annual Volunteer Cleanup Day.

Sadly though, the day also marks the winding down of one of the most successful individual volunteer efforts the city has seen in recent years.

Celebrating a decade of cleaning up downtown Ironton before the upcoming Memorial Day holiday and summer months, Volunteer Cleanup Day will again this year give the city the sparkle it covets. It also marks the second year of Ironton in Bloom’s hanging pots project.

However, for Randy Lilly, Volunteer Cleanup Day’s co-coordinator, this will be his last as leading the clean-up effort. Lilly, who founded the project, will be relocating to Florida on a more regular basis beginning next year.

Lilly has said that the idea started in 1999 when Dayton Malleable, the Ironton hospital and Cabletron all closed within months of each other and the city lost 1,200 jobs.

“I just wanted to come up with a way to instill a little pride in the city,” Lilly said. “It’s a day that everyone can be a good neighbor.”

Next year, the annual Volunteer Cleanup Day will be operated under the umbrella and direction of Ironton in Bloom.

Ten years later though, Lilly’s dream is now considered one of the gold standards in how to operate a clean-up day and others have followed his lead. But he knows more can be done.

“If every person in the city gave just two hours of their time a year towards cleaning up a section of Ironton, we would have more than 22,000 hours of time towards make our city more beautiful,” Lilly said.

This year Lilly expects to get around 125 people or so, including students in grades 7-12 from Ironton High School, St. Joseph High School and the Moose Teen Club as well as the Girl Scouts.

Ironton’s clean-up effort also lands on the same day as the Lawrence County Clean-Up Day. The cleanup event is the first countywide effort towards this cause.

Volunteers are asked to again meet at the corner of Second and Center streets at 9 a.m. to organize and work together to re-mulch and clean up the downtown area. Lilly said he hopes to have most of the work completed in two to three hours. He added that if someone hasn’t signed up to help, they are more than welcome to just show up.

Concessions will again be provided to workers by SuperQuik and Papa John’s along with t-shirts for volunteers to wear from Lawrence County.

The effort will also re-mulch and clean the flower containers in the downtown and Ironton-Russell Bridge area, as well as along the city limits on State Route 141 and State Route 93

People wanting to work on Volunteer Cleanup Day can contact Lilly at (740) 646-2239 or email, lillyrs@yahoo.com or Mike Corn at (740) 533-2676.