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City predicts good participation for Pride Day

FULTON SUN file photo: (From left) Kandy Johnson, Samantha Surface and Kate Johnson puruse the lawns near Maupin Funeral Home for trash while participating in the City of Fulton's tenth annual Pride Day clean up project last year. Fulton Pride Day was initiated in 2001 by former Mayor Robert Craghead with the intent of making the city cleaner and create a healthier living environment.

FULTON SUN file photo: (From left) Kandy Johnson, Samantha Surface and Kate Johnson puruse the lawns near Maupin Funeral Home for trash while participating in the City of Fulton's tenth annual Pride Day clean up project last year. Fulton Pride Day was initiated in 2001 by former Mayor Robert Craghead with the intent of making the city cleaner and create a healthier living environment.

The 11th annual Fulton Pride Day, a city-wide clean-up, is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9, and the registration deadline is this Friday. There is no cost for registration or participation.

Sharlene McArtor, recreation programer for the City of Fulton, says the event is open to all citizens of Callaway County, individuals or organized groups, who are interested in making the city a cleaner place.

The city boasted more than 400 participants in 2010 and anticipates at least the same size of enrollment or greater for 2011.

“We set people in groups and assign them locations to clean; some individuals request the location and clean the same spot every year,” said McArtor.

The group leader reports to the amphitheatre in Veterans Park at 9 a.m. to pick up trash bags, gloves, maps and T-shirts provided by the city.

The group of volunteers meet at the area designated on their map

“Areas to be covered range throughout the entire city, we go to highways, streets, but we dont pick up along the trail because we have groups that do that throughout the year. Anywhere within the city limits we can assign, because we have so many participants that most streets are cleaned,” McArtor said.

As the groups gather litter and waste, they leave the bags of collected trash on the side of the road. The park maintenance crew gathers the bags and hauls them to the dump to be weighed.

After the participants have cleaned their areas, everybody meets back at Veterans Park at noon for a free “thank you” lunch provided by the City of Fulton.

“For the meal we typically provide chips, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs,” said McArtor.

This year there will also be live music provided by the mid-Missouri blues group known as The Mojo Roots Band.

McArtor has been coordinating the event for several years and has one key piece of advice for new and returning participants: “I would just say be aware of your surroundings. If you are around a busy road and have small children, keep them away from the road. If you’re picking up any small objects or glass, be careful with those,” said McArtor.

LeRoy Benton, Fulton Kiwanis Club member, says the local service organization has participated every year since the event started in 2000.

“If you have back problems, you might want to fix a stick with a pointer on the end because you’re bending over a lot!” Benton said.

Nancy Church, facility manager at the Rosa Parks Center, says the 12 youth and three staff have been involved in Fulton Pride Day for more than five years.

“We try to participate in any community service that helps Fulton or those in need. The ones we’ve been able to go to have been very good; the ladies enjoy it,” Church said.

She said there are three necessities for participation in the city-wide clean-up event: “sunblock, water, and a positive attitude!”

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