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Letcher County prepares for PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month

April is PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month in southern and eastern Kentucky. Local cleanup activities are being organized by Gary Cornett, Letcher County PRIDE coordinator; Sandy Hammock, Whitesburg PRIDE coordinator; James Collins; Fleming-Neon PRIDE coordinator; Sarah Tackett Brown, Jenkins PRIDE coordinator; and Jim Scott,McRoberts PRIDE Coordinator.

Volunteering “helps our city look good, and tourists will come in,” said Hammock, who is also the administrative assistant for the City of Whitesburg.

“I want my city to look good for visitors and for kids playing outside this spring and summer,” said Collins, who is a Fleming-Neon City Council member. “Everyone, please take pride in our community and come out April 18 at 9 a.m. to City Hall.”

Brown, who is a health information analyst for Wellmont Jenkins Community Hospital, said that serving with PRIDE is an “opportunity to reach the youth in our communities, to increase their awareness of the effect littering can have and how working together, one person at a time, can make a difference.”

“A clean community is a great community and will help property values,” added Scott, who is president of the Committee for a Better McRoberts. “Cleaning a community takes the entire population to do their share, year round.”

“PRIDE wants you,” said Karen Engle, PRIDE president/ chief executive officer. “That’s our theme for the 2009 spring cleanup because our goal is 20,000 volunteers region-wide. This is a big territory, and we need that many volunteers to make it look its best. I encourage you to contact your PRIDE coordinator now to plan your neighborhood’s cleanup project.”

PRIDE coordinators are volunteers who work with the PRIDE staff to organize cleanup activities, recruit volunteers and track cleanup results. They assist local officials with the programs of PRIDE, a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education in 38 counties.

Throughout April, volunteers will pick up roadside litter and beautify welcome areas. PRIDE will give each volunteer a T-shirt, as well as supply trash bags, gloves and vests. PRIDE will help local governments pay for trash disposal and beautification projects.

April is also Redbud Month, and freshly cleaned roads will welcome the tourists who want to enjoy the region’s native Eastern Redbud trees. Redbud Month is sponsored by TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky (TOUR SEKY). Qualifying communities will receive hundreds of redbud seedlings from TOUR SEKY and eight-feettall redbud trees from PRIDE. Redbud Month information is available at www.tourseky.com or by contacting Michelle Spencer at mspencer@tourseky.com or 606-677-6142.

To volunteer for the PRIDE Spring Cleanup in Letcher County, call Gary Cornett at 632-2267. Whitesburg residents, contact Sandy Hammock at 633-3703 or shammock@live.com. In Fleming-Neon, contact James Collins at 855-9076 or hootandl@bellsouth.net. Jenkins residents can reach Sarah Tackett Brown at serbie_b@yahoo.com. In McRoberts, call Jim Scott at 832-4789.

For a list of local spring cleanup events, visit www.kypride.org and click Letcher County on the map.

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