Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Jersey Litter Free Seminar and Awards Banquet

It was a true pleasure and honor getting to spend time in Princeton, NJ last week. The good folks from Clifton, NJ invited Take Pride in America® to join them at the New Jersey Litter Free Seminar to discuss the successful partnership between Clifton and Take Pride.

Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi shared his speaking time with Justin Kintz (of TPIA) and both parties discussed the merits of linking a city and its citizens to Take Pride in America. It was a unique dual perspective as both the city and the program were represented and both sides were shared.

Justin also had the opportunity to award two of Clifton's finest volunteers with the President's Volunteer Service Award. Both Cheryl Mauro and Cheryl Schweighardt of Clifton, NJ, qualified for the Gold level of the award - amassing over 500 hours of service in the last year alone.

Cheryl Mauro led her Girl Scout and Brownie troops to clean parks, plant trees and flowers. She also painted fish and other animals around catch basins to alert the public on non-point source pollution to New Jersey Waterways. Over 850 hours of volunteer work have gone into these projects and many others, the last year alone.

Cheryl Schweighardt earned this award by transforming a littered intersection near her home in Clifton. She cleaned up the large amounts of refuse, made a park out of the large island in the intersection, laid stonework, planted flowers and provided a beautiful and visible example of community action.

Special thanks to Clifton Clean Communities Coordinator Al Dubois for his vision and perpetual care for public lands. Thanks also to Clifton City Manager Al Greco and Mayor James Anzaldi for their commitment to the Take Pride in America program and to their tremendous citizens. We hope that the rest of New Jersey and the United States replicates the great Clean Communities success that Clifton has achieved.

Cheryl Schweighardt PVSA

Justin Kintz presenting Cheryl Schweighardt with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Take Pride in America® joins Keep America Beautiful for Chicago Kickoff of Great American Cleanup

This weekend, Take Pride in America® joined with Keep America Beautiful for the official kickoff of Chicago’s Great American Cleanup, in partnership with Mayor Daley’s Clean & Green citywide volunteer cleanup. Take Pride in America was there in support of its partnership with Keep America Beautiful, and was pleased to offer its help for such an important public lands cleanup.

The event kicked off in Ping Tom Park Pavilion, and participants included: Mayor Richard Daley, Matthew McKenna, President & CEO Keep America Beautiful, Veronica Lew, Associate Director for USA Freedom Corps, and volunteers from all over Chicago.

“Take Pride in America is pleased to once again join forces with Keep America Beautiful,” said Katie Loovis, Executive Director, Take Pride in America. “It is uplifting to see so many volunteers come together from all parts of the city. Today’s volunteer force is proof that Chicago takes pride in its city, its public land, and most of all America.”

Running from March 1 through May 31, the Great American Cleanup is a program to promote cleaner, greener communities across America. More than 30,0o0 events in 17,000 communities will remove litter and debris from public lands and waterways, promote recycling, and beautify public spaces with trees, plants and flowers.




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Highlander High

The second Take Pride in America Toyota Voluntour has been our most ambitious event to date and we got some strange looks when we told people we were driving from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C., via the gulf coast and eastern shore. And I can tell you after making that long drive, that there isn't any other way to travel than in a Toyota Highlander Hybrid!

We drove 3,473 miles over 18 days and saw beaches, bridges, battleships and plenty of open road. The navigation system came in handy...especially the feature that calculates how long your drive will be (we had to do some planning to be sure to be back to the hotel in time to watch American Idol!)

Thank you to Toyota and to everyone who worked hard in making this tour happen. We enjoyed our ride!

Check out photos of the Highlander on the road.

Check out Toyota's "Open Road Blog."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

C & O Canal National Historic Park Cleanup


This weekend, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett participated in a Take Pride in America® volunteer project at the C & O Canal National Historical Park (Carderock Pavilion). The cleanup was held in celebration of National Volunteer Week, and was the final stop on Take Pride in America’s “VolunTour Across America,” a nationwide trip promoting volunteerism on public lands.

“Nearly one third of our country is public lands available for all to share and enjoy, but with that shared birthright comes a responsibility for stewardship” Deputy Secretary Scarlett said. “The hours each volunteer gives today are a collective force for good, preserving this historic park for future generations.”


“Take Pride in America is honored to join with several partners during National Volunteer Week to help cleanup the C & O Canal National Historical Park,” said Katie Loovis, Executive Director, Take Pride in America. “Today’s service project shows the tremendous impact a group of public, private, and nonprofit sector volunteers can make.”

The big group picture!

Everyone was pitching in to help.