GODFREY — Ed Wilson, a retiree with a passion for physical exercise and community service, has made a notable impact in his local area through his daily walking routine. Wilson, who walks three hours a day and covers approximately 100 miles each week, noticed trash accumulating along his route in 2017 and decided to take action.

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Wilson is a definite difference maker in the Village of Godfrey.

Armed with plastic shopping bags, Wilson began collecting litter along Pierce Lane, across Stamper, and into Glazebrook Park. His efforts have not gone unnoticed; every week, he fills up a barrel with trash in Glazebrook Park.

"Once you get good with one of those things, you can pick up a dime," Wilson said, referring to a "grabber" tool he received as a gift two years ago.

Village of Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick said people like Wilson make Godfrey the great community it is to live in.

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"I am very proud he shows interest in the village," he said. "He probably spends about 10 hours a week walking the streets of Godfrey picking up trash.

Wilson's dedication has turned him into a local celebrity of sorts. Drivers often honk and wave as they pass by, and neighborhood mothers have expressed their gratitude, noting that he has inspired their children to be more conscientious about littering.

Wilson's commitment to his community is rooted in a lifetime of hard work and service. Growing up in Grafton, where his parents operated Golden Eagle Antiques, he later attended LCCC and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1984. He spent his career in customer service roles at Amerifile and Dillard's before retiring and moving to Godfrey in 2015.

Since then, Wilson has dedicated much of his time to walking and keeping his community clean. His efforts have not only improved the local environment but have also fostered a sense of civic responsibility among residents.

Again, a salute to Wilson for his commitment to Godfrey and he is a definite difference maker in his community.

If you have a Difference Maker idea, e-mail news@riverbender.com and include a photo of the person involved with reasons and their contact information. Those who wish to text, contact Contact Director Dan Brannan at 618-623-5930.

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