Hundreds of volunteers from the Borough of Pottstown, The Hill School, the Pottstown School District, Montgomery County Community College, and other organizations will again combine forces to demonstrate their commitment to our hometown during the third annual CARES clean-up event to be held on Friday, Oct. 23, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Rain date will be Monday, October 26.
The CARES day volunteers will assemble at 8:30 a.m. under Hill’s former hockey rink roof near the Center For The Arts parking lot at 860 Beech Street, where they will receive instructions and participate in a group photo before stepping off. Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele and Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono will be on hand to welcome and thank the massive crew of volunteers.
The clean-up will occur in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street, and Manatawny Street east to Edgewood Street. The CARES project has received the International Coastal Cleanup designation that is granted to endeavors that clean up an area’s watershed; removing litter prevents contaminants from entering waterways via storm drains.
All 502 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; at least 50 Pottstown High School students and numerous faculty members; volunteers from Montgomery County Community College, and many Borough workers and officials will be dispersed to weed, pick up trash, and complete other “spruce up” tasks in public spaces in the core downtown area. In addition, individuals who have come forward from other community businesses and organizations will join the workers on clean-up teams.
This year the Pottstown area MOMS Club has volunteered to join the CARES effort. CARES planners also are making an extra effort to ask downtown business owners and employees to join in the activities. Interested businesses should contact Kourtney High at email@example.com or 610-970-6512.
Also new this year will be a property maintenance merit program in which about 100 owners and residents will be recognized for keeping their properties clean and attractive by receiving a certificate of appreciation and a window “cling” bearing the Pottstown CARES logo.
The CARES organizers ask that Pottstown area residents further show they care about our community by stopping by the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities at 57 North Franklin Street and donating nonperishable food, laundry detergent, toiletries, warm clothing, and other items for distribution to area families in need.
Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES endeavor. The planners wish to give special thanks to Lowes for their exceptional generosity in providing tools and other supplies at cost; the United Way and the Fairmount Park Conservancy for loaning tools to the endeavor; Home Depot for providing 600 trash bags and a discount for supplies; and JP Mascaro for supplying dumpsters. In addition, Hill’s food service provider, Sodexo, is donating snacks and the post clean-up buffet picnic lunch for all volunteers.
Organizations that wish to donate time, tools, gloves, trash or recycling bags, or funding toward CARES should contact Katie Scanlan, High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Chair at The Hill School, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-705-7277. Donations of work gloves, trash and leaf bags, and tools also will be accepted at Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street. Citizens may email PottstownCARES@pottstown.org with suggestions or questions.
To help identify the unified CARES crew, all volunteers are asked to wear blue – a “school color” shared by The Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the Borough.
The initial, joint CARES (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability) endeavor was conceived in the spring of 2013 during conversations between Borough Manager Mark Flanders, Pottstown School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Sparagana, and Hill School Headmaster Zachary Lehman. The three leaders envisioned a collaborative project that would help to “spruce up” a designated area in the core of Pottstown while boosting community pride. The CARES team hopes these annual events will indeed motivate Pottstown residents to engage in ongoing clean-ups of their own in their immediate neighborhoods.
CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and Emergency Services organizations and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.