Community Clean Up seeking volunteers and sponsors

Terry RogersCulture, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

The 4th Annual Community Clean Up for Milford is planned for April 13 from 8 to 10:30 AM

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM), Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) and the City of Milford have partnered for the 4th Annual Community Clean-Up. The event is planned for April 13, 2024, from 8 to 10:30 AM and will be held rain or shine.

“About five years ago when the Executive Director of DMI along with the President of DMI, President of the Chamber and myself talked about having a retreat type meeting to discuss ways we could partner on events that would benefit Milford,” Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of CCGM, said. “I asked Andy Stevens who runs “Andy is My Coach” and is the pastor at the Milford Church of God, to mediate the retreat. We all met in Arena’s conference room to brainstorm ideas.”

According to Schmeiser, many ideas were bounced around, but one that seemed to be the most beneficial was a community clean up. The goal was to get volunteers from the Milford area to help clean up the community. The first year, CCGM took the lead and began to reach out to others who may want to partner.

“I reached out to Brad Dennehy with Milford Parks and Recreation who let me know that Parks and Rec were already doing an annual cleanup, but it was based along the river,” Schmeiser said. “I asked him if he would be interested in expanding the event and work with the Chamber and DMI. Of course, he said yes.”

Schmeiser also reached out to a friend who works for Delaware Solid Waste Authority who suggested other organizations along with state agencies that might want to partner on this event. A meeting date was scheduled, and the first cleanup was held in 2019.

“We had one event and then COVID hit so we didn’t do one in 2020,” Schmeiser said. “However, we have been at it ever since and this will be our fourth annual cleanup. Over the years, we’ve probably had more than 1,000 folks clean up tons and tons of litter in Milford.”

Over the years, members of City Council, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, school clubs, groups from businesses, families and organizations have participated. In addition, a group from Perdue arrives to help each year as well.

“We designed this not to be a fundraiser for either DMI or the Chamber,” Schmeiser said. “It was a community event, but we did incur some expenses. WE asked chamber members primarily if they would like to sponsor the event to help pay for the costs, mostly t-shirts we provide to people who volunteer. Perdue was immediately on board and have continued to sponsor this important event every year.”

In addition to monetary support from sponsors, Milford Church of God provides water and snacks for all the volunteers. The City of Milford and Milford School District are also important partners in the event. Other than Perdue, sponsors over the years have included Hodges Accounting and Tax Services, Artisan’s Bank, Rhodes and Morrow, Attorneys at Law, PACE Your Life and Milford Housing Development Corporation. Local legislators Senator Dave Wilson and Representative Bryan Shupe have also supported the event.

“During the clean-up, Milford Parks and Recreation pick the areas in which clean up is needed, making sure those who are picking up the litter are safe,” Schmeiser said. “The first 200 volunteers receive a brightly colored t-shirt, making them visible to the community as they clean.”

This year’s event is chaired by Michele Webb of Milford Housing Development Corporation. Registration is available the day of the event. Sponsorship information can be obtained by calling CCGM at 302-422-3344 or DMI by calling 302-839-1180.

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