A record number of volunteers joined forces to clean Hwy. 90 and other roads near Cumberland Falls during the annual Cumberland Falls PRIDE Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 28.
A total of 632 volunteers participated in the event. Previously, the largest turnout for the Cumberland Falls PRIDE Spring Cleanup was 510 volunteers in 2012.
The cleanup netted unsightly trash from the scenic location. Volunteers removed 350 bags of trash along the shoreline and below Cumberland Falls. Volunteers who worked along roads in Whitley County collected 123 bags of trash and 108 tires. From roads in McCreary County, volunteers removed 315 bags of trash, 17 tires, seven TV/computer monitors and two mattresses.
“My body is tired, but my heart is full,” PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson declared to the crowd of volunteers after the event. “Today demonstrated just how amazing a PRIDE Spring Cleanup event can be, and I thank each and every one of you who volunteered and made this cleanup a huge success.”
“I saw you working hard to pick up trash, but I also saw you having lots of fun together as families and friends,” Wilson said. “I was very impressed with your dance moves while you were waiting for the door prizes! I want to thank the Pine Knot Job Corps for providing the DJ set up for us, as well as preparing the lunch today.”
Wilson announced that Whitley County won the coveted “Trash Cup” trophy, which is presented annually to the county represented by the most volunteers. Whitley County and McCreary County are now tied with five wins each.
Plaques were awarded to the community groups and school groups that brought the most volunteers. First Baptist Church of Rockholds was the winner in the community group category, and Pleasant Ridge United Baptist Church was the 1st Runner Up. Whitley County High School JROTC won the school group category, and the 1st Runner Up was the Pine Knot Job Corps.
Pleasant Ridge United Baptist Church won $100 from the McCreary County 109 Board for bringing the most volunteers from a specific nonprofit group from the county.
Whitley County High School JROTC was the Whitley County nonprofit group with the most volunteers, earning a $100 prize from the Whitley County Fiscal Court.
Pamela Gibson accepted the second annual Greene Service Award. The award was created in 2017 in honor of former McCreary County Judge-Executive Jimmy Greene, “in loving memory and recognition for his faithful and dedicated service, willing spirit and labor of love.” The award is given to someone who exemplifies those qualities.
Wilson thanked the individuals and organizations that donated money, food, door prizes and services to the event: Bradley’s Gourmet Coffee and More, City of Williamsburg, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Firestone, Gordon Food Services, Gorilla-Lift Gates, JunkYard Pottery, Knife of the Party Catering, Kristina’s Kitchen, Kroger of Whitley City, Lake Cumberland Speedway, Larry’s Mini Mart, Master Musicians Festival, Doug McCoy, McCreary County Schools, Mega Deals, Milton’s Burger Hut, Robert Mullinex, Nails by Sherry, Pepsi Cola Bottling, Pottery by Mehg, PRIDE, Ridge Runners, Sheltowee Trace Association, Sheltowee Trace Outfitters, Bret Smitley, Sweet Kreations Gift Shoppe & Fudgery, Tri County Cineplex, Whistle Stop at Big South Fork, and Whitley County Schools.
The event is a partnership among PRIDE, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, McCreary County Fiscal Court 109 Board, Whitley County Fiscal Court, US Forest Service, McCreary County Extension Service, McCreary County Board of Education, Whitley County School System and Pine Knot Job Corp.
This Cumberland Falls Spring Cleanup is part of the PRIDE Spring Cleanup campaign across 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The region-wide PRIDE Spring Cleanup is sponsored by Walmart, Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Outdoor Venture Corp., and Kentucky American Water.