Pottstown CARES: Part Two
The second part of the CARES project will be a clean-up day TODAY, Friday, October 25 in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street, and Hanover Street east to Edgewood Street. All 505 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; 50 Pottstown High School students and numerous faculty members; 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 during this day of service that precedes National Make a Difference Day (October 26). A team of volunteers also will work to beautify Edgewood Cemetery.
The CARES organizers estimate that a total of 700 students and adults will be contributing to the clean-up during the morning of October 25.
Last summer Borough residents were encouraged through a Mercury article and the Borough website to shares suggestions and requests for specific homeowner projects that might be tackled by the volunteers, in addition to general street and sidewalk clean-up.
The massive volunteer crew will assemble under Hill’s former hockey rink roof at 8:30 a.m. to receive instructions. Pre-organized teams then will disperse to their designated project areas until about 12:30 p.m., when they will return to Hill for a picnic lunch prepared by Sodexo, Hill’s food service provider. Sodexo is generously donating the meals for all school district and borough volunteers as well as Hill students and personnel.
After lunch, a celebratory group photo of all participants will be taken on Hill’s campus.
In addition, as part of the October 25 clean-up day, the Pottstown School District is running a blood drive from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the high school. Individuals interested in making a donation at the Pottstown High School on October 25 may send an email to Pottstown faculty member Mark Agnew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 610-970-6707.
Hill’s fine woodworking class students are painting new planks for a park bench to donate for one of the MOSAIC community gardens. A team of volunteers is expected to help build new compost bins for the garden at 423 Chestnut Street. Also, Hill School art students and faculty will be canvassing neighbors to ask for input on the design of a public, downtown Pottstown mural they would like to create in partnership with Pottstown High School art students.
Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES project. In addition to equipment being shared by each of the three entities involved – from rakes to a public address system – the United Way has generously donated $1,000 toward tool procurement in addition to loaning tools through their tool share program. Home Depot made a greatly appreciated cash donation to the project as well. CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.
Individuals who would like to donate work gloves, trash or leaf bags, or tools for this and future projects may take their items to Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street.
Borough Manager Mark Flanders emphasized that Pottstown CARES is not intended to be a once and done affair, but a starting point that builds momentum for additional efforts that increase residents’ pride in Pottstown.
“It is my hope that this is the beginning of something bigger, and that, as time goes on, Pottstown CARES is a way of life for the residents of Pottstown – rather than a scheduled event,” Flanders noted.
Hill Headmaster Zack Lehman arranged for all 505 Hill students as well as faculty and staff to participate in the October 25 clean-up day. He said he is excited about the synergy occurring between Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the Borough – and he is passionate about Hill’s involvement in the community.
“Hill was happy to provide the space for the community education event and to serve as the rallying point for the clean-up project,” Lehman said. “I see these CARES initiatives as the first of many cooperative projects. Hill contributes to Pottstown in many ways, from our existing, highly engaged student community service program, to enthusiastic support of local businesses. We are eager to demonstrate our commitment to the town that has been Hill’s home for 163 years, and very happy to do so with our CARES partners.”
“Pottstown CARES provides community stakeholders with the opportunity to send the clear and inspirational message that, when working together, we are more effective in our actions,” said Dr. Jeff Sparagana, Pottstown superintendent.
“Together, we are Pottstown,” Sparagana said.