Last updated: May 02. 2014 9:50AM - 704 Views
Staff Report

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UNION COUNTY — A recent clean-up resulted in the collection of nearly 2,600 pounds of litter by volunteers working to help make their communities more attractive to economic development.

Sponsored by the Union County Tourism Commission, the Union County Take Pride — Litter Pick-Up Day took place this past Saturday in Jonesville, Lockhart, Carlisle, and Santuc.

In announcing the event, Interim Tourism Commission Director Curtiss Hunter said that the goal of the event was to make Union County more attractive to economic development by cleaning up the entranceways to the participating communities.

While it was sponsored by the tourism commission, the task of organizing the groups that would be picking up the litter fell to the communities involved. Each community assembled a team of volunteers who were supplied by Palmetto Pride, the non-profit organization that works to fight litter and help beautify South Carolina, with gloves, trash bags, safety vests, and pickup sticks. The tourism commission and Save-a-Lot provided provided water for the voluntteers.

The event began at 8 a.m. and went until noon, by which time Hunter said the volunteers had collected 1,500 pounds.

Also helping out with the event was the Union County Public Works Department whose personnel collected 1,090 pounds of litter from along the Berry Farm Road and SC 49 West over a two-day period.

Hunter said the litter collected by the voluteers was added to the amoun collected by public works to illustrate the problem of litter in Union County.

“That was amazing, we’re talking about litter, paper, plastic bottles, glass bottles that was an amazing amount of litter collected,” Hunter said. “It boggles the mind to see that much litter.”

Hunter said she was pleased with the results of the event and thanked the volunteers, their communities, and the county for their part in making it a success.

“I want to thank all the municipalities for coming together to make this happen,” Hunter said. “We want to continue this effort and I am meeting with Palmetto Pride to bring their preventive program to Union.”

Hunter said that in addition to working with the statewide Palmetto Pride group, she hopes the commission can team with the national Keep America Beautiful organization in the future as well. She said that working with Keep America Beautiful would give the commission the opportunity to apply for grants to help plant grass and trees, further beautifying the county and increasing its attractiveness to economic development.

Mary B. Thomas

One of the groups participating the clean-up was the Mary B. Thoms Girls Youth Circle Unit #16 which, according to District 5 Mother Advisor Sister Jacqueline Stewart, reported to the Jonesville Town Hall at 8 a.m. Saturday ready for service.

“Today was Union County’s Take Pride-Litter Pick -Up Day,” Stewart said in a statement released about the group’s involvement in the event. “It was early, but the girls were ready to do their duty. Mr. Ronald Young, Town Councilman of Jonesville was in charge of handling out the supplies and assigning the girls to their designated area. We gathered to take a group picture and we were on our way.”

Stewart pointed out that their participation in the clean-up event is part of the group’s commitment to serving the community.

“The Mary B. Thomas Girls Youth Circle is purposely designed and developed with the underlining principle being the training through mentorship in preparing these young girls to face the challenges of tomorrow’s world,” Stewart said. “As District Five (Union County) Mother Advisor we provide opportunities for these young girls to interact in a positive environment with their peers.

“We foster good moral character, positive attitudes, effective communication skills and appropriate representation and conduct,” she said. “We also take great pride and dedication to enhance their desire to render service in their respective communities whenever possible. Our philosophy is to actively strive to obtain nobility by a commitment to be civic-minded within our communities as a personal goal to serve humanity.

Stewart thanked the organizers and supporters of the event.

“We the Mary B. Thomas Girls Youth Circle would like to say ‘thank you’ for believing in us and know that we are here to serve,” Stewart said. “Special thanks to the Town of Jonesville for asking for our support and for the refreshments that were provided for all.”

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