Sunday, August 30, 2020

Pottstown Faces Clean-up Challenge from Reading

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by Hobart's Run.

Hobart’s Run has been challenged to engage all of Pottstown in a “clean-up competition,” with the gauntlet thrown down by Reading, Pa.’s grassroots South of Penn Task Force. 

 This dual-city event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 12 in both towns, rain or shine. The event originally was planned for March 28, but was postponed due to the pandemic outbreak.

The rescheduled event will require “superhero” participants to wear cloth masks or face shields – the types that prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus – and to adhere to social distancing guidelines in their clean-up groups. Unfortunately, the originally planned for post-clean-up lunch in Pottstown cannot be held due to ongoing food distribution and crowd concerns.

Nonetheless – to make things as fun as possible – volunteers still are invited to wear a “superhero” costume of their choosing (not required, but strongly encouraged). Homemade costumes and capes are welcomed, as is overall creativity – but the important ingredient will be residents’ participation. 

The South of Penn group is striving to recruit dozens of volunteers, so organizers hope Pottstown will rise to the challenge, do something tangible and positive, and show our town’s community spirit.

“Unfortunately, litter in the streets is an ongoing issue here in Pottstown, as elsewhere,” said Cathy Skitko, director of communications for Hobart’s Run. 

 “The clean-up organizers are eager to raise awareness and address this problem. We will insist that

volunteers follow all Covid-19 CDC prevention guidelines while picking up trash -- just as individuals are expected to do while walking or exercising outdoors during the current situation,” Skitko said. 

Ashley DeJesus, coordinator for Reading’s South of Penn Task Force, says she was inspired to get involved in her community because “I was tired of hearing the same narrative – that Reading was dirty, inherently implying that the neighbors here were dirty. 

“That’s not the case,” she says. “You can give people direction, and you also have to give people tools and encourage them to use them” to make a positive impact. “That’s a big part of what these clean-ups accomplish.” 

All superhero clean-up squads will be asked to strike a powerful pose and send selfies and photos to Hobart’s Run (at for social media sharing during and after the clean-up.

“This is a great opportunity to remove litter from Pottstown’s streets while demonstrating community pride; safely having fun with family, friends, and neighbors; and setting a positive, visible example for all residents,” said Twila Fisher, director of community and economic engagement for Hobart’s Run.

Hobart’s Run will provide and drop off trash bags, gloves, and tools to community partners who have been or will be contacted soon about helping to organize “superhero squads” dedicated to particular sections of Pottstown.  

Sanitizer products will be provided for cleaning tools before and after use. Participants should bring their own water bottle and, again, all must wear a mask and work six feet or more away from other volunteers who are not immediate family members.

Pottstown individuals interested in organizing a squad of clean-up “superheroes” from their club, school, church, other organization, or immediate neighborhood should reach out as soon as possible to Stephanie Trauner at or 215-688-6522.

Individuals who have not joined another Pottstown clean-up squad may stop by 701 E. High St. at 9:45 a.m. on September 12 to pick up trash bags and gloves. All other superhero squads also will meet at the same time at their soon-to-be shared starting points.

The Hobart’s Run Facebook page will continue to provide information closer to the event.

Hobart’s Run thanks Pottstown Community Action for playing a superhero partner role with this event.

Trash Can Adopters and Sponsors are Superheroes, Too

Another proven way to help keep Pottstown’s streets clean is to “adopt” a free Hobart’s Run or Hobart’s Run and Pottstown Community Action trash bin. Hobart’s Run will deliver cans and liners to Borough adopters’ homes or offices; residents or businesses only need to periodically add the trash to their normal collection and replace the bag.

Hobart’s Run has purchased the majority of the 29 cans that currently dot Pottstown’s streets, but the organization welcomes additional trash can sponsors to help keep even more blocks clean.

“We’ve heard from trashcan ‘adopters’ that the presence of these sturdy, attractive bins on their streets has led to a significant decline in litter,” Skitko says.

Participating Pottstown businesses are recognized through social media and their business logo will be affixed to their sponsored cans, letting neighbors know of their investment in the community. One bin can be sponsored for $200 (essentially, this fee covers the cost for one can and a sticker); three bins can be sponsored for $500; and six bins can be sponsored for $1,000. Sponsoring organizations can adopt and maintain their branded can or cans at their office location, or donate them to residents or nonprofits looking to adopt a bin.

To date generous Adopt-a-Trashcan sponsors have included Matt Green of Glocker Real Estate; Jennifer Davidheiser of the Real Estate Professionals; Sitko Tree Farm, and 422 Sports Plex. 

 Interested adopters or sponsors should contact Stephanie Trauner at or 610-705-1018. In addition, a limited number of trash grabber tools are available for volunteers who make a donation of $15 or more to Edgewood Historic Cemetery via PayPal or write a check to Edgewood and send it to 740 E. High Street. 

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