Volunteers spend day picking up trash around Tucumcari as part of the Great American Cleanup

By Tova Fruchtman: Quay County Sun

Planners and participants in the Keep Tucumcari Beautiful clean-up Saturday were a little disappointed about the turnout. But that didn’t stop them from collecting more than 50 bags of trash through out the weekend.

A group of 16 volunteers Saturday, and 4 others who couldn’t attend the event but helped out on Friday, collected 57 bags of trash in the land behind McDonalds, from Trigg Memorial Hospital to Discovery Inn.

The Sunday school group from First Baptist Church that attended made up most of the volunteers.

David England, associate pastor at the church, said the church tries to encourage members to give back to the community.

“We try to encourage people in our church to minister to our community,” he said. “We all need to be helping to clean up our community. When you see trash and things like that, it’s depressing.”

About 11 of the 16 volunteers Saturday were from the church.

“Our contingency looks pretty good,” England said.
Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation Director Pete Kampfer and the event’s planner Yvette Fazekas also filled bags with trash.

Fazekas said although the turnout was less than she hoped she thinks people are responding to the effort to Keep Tucumcari Beautiful. She said she has seen people out working on their property as she drives around town.
“I’m pleased that the Baptist church came out. Without them we would have been no where,” she said.

Fazekas said she still thinks people are interested in cleaning up the community.

“I think they’d like to see the community clean,” she said, explaining that people often do not realize that means actually getting out there and picking up trash.

Donning gloves and carrying large trash bags, volunteers picked up trash from 9 a.m. until noon, when they went back to the Chamber for lunch.