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ALTON - The City of Alton and Pride Incorporated had the second semi-annual city-wide cleanup on Saturday and it was a perfect example of the event's "Love Where You Live" motto at work. A wide variety of ages participated, from young children all the way to older adults.

The event is designed to help “beautify” the streets of Alton, in hopes of bettering the community and to help drive foot traffic to local businesses in the area.

Every year, the city-wide cleanup counts on local volunteers from different organizations to help out with the effort. It gives a chance for locals to give back to their community. The main focus for many volunteers was to keep the area clean and to make a difference in the area where they live in.

“Love where you live” was the main fall cleanup slogan for the Pride Inc. cleanup this year. It was a way to get people encouraged by the event.

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When asked if there was a message that Pride Inc. wanted to give out to the community, board member Pat Ackman said, “It's an old community, but that doesn’t mean it has to be old and run down. There are still ways to keep it beautiful”.

Pride Inc.'s Executive Director Pat Stewart was ecstatic over the number of participants and the amount of trash they were able to clean from Alton streets.

"It really shows the pride in our community," she said. "We had a lot of younger kids out helping and I thought that was wonderful. The National Honor Society at Alton High put out a lot of effort into the cleanup. We hope to instill in young people the importance of these kinds of volunteer efforts and hope they will take this message to their friends and future generations as well. We had a lot of great volunteers and walk-ups. We are thankful for all the pre-publicity for the event. It was comforting to know so many people cared with the Expo and the Pride Fest going on at the same time."

The next Pride Inc. Cleanup Day will be April 22, 2023, she said. The fall cleanup for next year will be on Sept. 9, 2023.

Pride Inc. is a Non-Profit organization founded in 1966 serving the Godfrey-Alton area and focusing on the education of beautification of the local community. The City-Wide Cleanup happens twice a year in the Alton area.

Jeremy Ramirez Garcia is a news intern from Principia College.

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