Somersworth community cleanup happening Saturday
Somersworth, NH Volunteers carrying rakes, trash bags and other gear will fan out across the city on Saturday for the seventh annual Spirit Up Somersworth community cleanup.Organizers hope to attract more than 200 people to the event, which also features raffles, giveaways, free lunch and entertainment, including a Touch-a-Truck demonstration, after the morning cleanup.
"I want it to be something that's energizing," said Maureen Jackman, director of Somersworth Youth Connection, which is leading the event.
"You can go out, clean up your community and then come back and listen to music and see what the community has to offer," she continued. "It's about bringing the community together."
Somersworth Youth Connection works with more than 200 students in middle and elementary school deemed at-risk based on grades or behavior. Jackman said the cleanup and other events like it help instill a sense of purpose among many of those students.
"It gets kids involved and makes them feel like they are part of the entire community," she said this week.
Mayor Dana Hilliard, Somersworth Middle School principal, agreed.
He said events like Spirit Up Somersworth give many young people a sense of connection and pride in their city.
Volunteers are asked to arrive at the middle school before 8 a.m. Saturday to check in and receive cleanup assignments. From there, they will target trash in the downtown, on the school grounds and on high-traffic streets leading up to the campus.
From noon to 2 p.m., cleanup participants are invited to eat a free lunch at the middle school. There also will be music from the band Wanderbird, which includes Somersworth Middle School alumni, vendors, displays and numerous raffles.
Tradeport has donated a 32-inch TV, and other businesses have offered gift cards and other prizes. Only those who complete the cleanup are eligible to win the raffles.
There also will be a chance for residents to share perennial plants with other gardeners.
The Touch-a-Truck, which will feature some of the city's public works trucks and emergency vehicles, runs from noon to 2 p.m. at the middle school.
Last year, volunteers collected hundreds of bags of trash. Waste Management donates Dumpsters to remove much of the waste, and city services crews remove the rest.
Other sponsors include: Walmart, Aroma Joe's, Cabot, Shaw's, Weeksie's Pizza, Somersworth Storage, Panera Bread, Gagnon's Auto Body, Applebee's, The American Legion, Villa Pizza, Pizza Hut and Hilltop Fun Center.
"My whole deal with (the event) is to make it a fun day," Jackman said. "It's about cleaning up the community but it's also about showing the spirit and the pride of the community."
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