In 2010, thanks to a partnership with Disneyland, more than 900 volunteers picked up 11,740 pounds of trash around Antioch. Organizers hope to keep that sentiment going on Saturday for the third annual Keep Antioch Beautiful Day. Volunteers will disperse throughout the city from 8:30 to 11 a.m., picking up garbage.
“This is our third year, and first of all, I’m just overwhelmed that it’s still happening,” said co-founder Martha Parsons, a former Antioch City Councilwoman. “Our team has stuck together. The city is still supportive.”
Residents who want to participate are asked to first register at www.art4antioch.org/KAB-2012.asp and check in at one of the listed schools: Carmen Dragon, Dallas Ranch, Diablo Vista, John Muir, Jack London, Bidwell, Mission, Park Middle, Antioch Middle and Belshaw. Volunteers can also check in at City Hall and The Red Caboose restaurant on Fulton Shipyard Road.
A special reward awaits kids who participate this year – they could help their schools win some money. According to Parsons, sponsors have contributed money earmarked for schools, based on participation. “This would be wonderful if we could get more participation from schools and get (students) to learn about community service,” Parsons said. “Anyone can participate – it can be a family thing.”
The monetary awards include three categories: high school, middle school and elementary. A $500 cash prize will go to the school in each category with the most student or family participation, $300 to the second place school and $200 to the third.
To make efforts count for a certain school, be sure to name that school during registration or at a check-in site so organizers can keep track.
Many participants in Keep Antioch Beautiful Day don’t merely pick up cans and paper. They often find hazardous waste and harmful blight. Organizers work with Allied Waste to make sure that kind of trash is disposed of safely.
Volunteers are also rewarded for their efforts. A free lunch, courtesy of Honeywell, is provided for those who help out. Lunch is served at Contra Loma Park starting at 11:30 a.m. And companies such as Pinky’s Car Wash, REI and Paradise Skate, among others, will distribute some sweet gifts to volunteers.
Parsons has been grateful for the support that the event has garnered from all around the community, both in terms of participation and sponsorship. People have come from not only East County, but as far away as Salinas in the Central Valley to participate in the cleanup effort.
“There are so many people that still have pride and want to help in an active way,” Parsons said. “Everybody was complaining about blight, and this is just one way for individuals to contribute to the beautification of their city.”
For more information, visit www.art4antioch.org/KAB-2012.asp.