Niagara Gazette

Opinion

May 12, 2014

HIGGS: Niagara Beautification Commission volunteers shine in gloomy weather

Niagara Gazette — I am taking a break from local early churches in Niagara Falls and turning your attention to May 3 when the annual Niagara Beautification Commission’s Beautify Niagara citywide clean up event took place in gloomy, threatening weather (again). At least this year it was not pouring rain like some recent years.

Almost 800 volunteers representing 104 organizations and individuals signed up over the past few months and sent small groups to the kick off hosted by the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel. They have been our partner since 2006 welcoming us “under the arch” which provides a gathering place for workers to pick up bags and gloves, network with others, get a boost and thank you from Mayor Paul Dyster and Honorary Chair Fire Chief Tom Colangelo (along with some safety tips). The casino staff provides juice, water, a breakfast snack and lots of coffee to jump start the day.

We had sort of a crisis with our supply of trash bags this year as in early March we found out we would not be getting our usual shipment from Keep America Beautiful as their source cut back and they had to shift priorities since we had been recipients for many years. Thanks to Olin Corporation, Modern Corporation, and Covanta of Niagara, who also provide gloves, added trash bags to their donation. Olin did a major job and deserve special thanks. Thanks to Stu Lowe, father of NBC Chair Tom Lowe, who put together a consortium of donors: Heat Wave Heating & Cooling, Grainger Industrial Supply and himself (thanks Dad). Other donors were Great American Clean Up in Buffalo and the Niagara River Lodge 785 F.& A.M. All of these are newcomers to our growing list of sponsors who helped to solve our problem.

Through all this nail biting, Albert Hornung, safety educator and community representative from the Niagara Falls Fire Department, who I call my co-chair of this event, helped with our work party of NBC volunteers who assemble the bags and gloves for our volunteers. Al provides so much help and the heavy lifting for me which is very appreciated.

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