As Memorial Day weekend approaches and the town prepares to lay out the welcome mat to seasonal visitors, the Shelter Island Lions Club is spearheading a cleanup campaign, hoping many volunteers will show up on Saturday, May 19, to join in a street-cleaning effort.
Following a coffee, bagel and doughnuts breakfast at the Center Firehouse at 9:30 a.m., volunteers will be deployed throughout the Island in groups to remove debris from roadsides.
After the cleanup, the Shelter Island Fire Department will offer a barbecue reception back at the Center Firehouse.
Volunteers can choose areas where they would prefer to work.
Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. will be volunteering his time and using his truck to pick up bags of debris from the volunteers. “I’m excited it’s coming together,” he said. “It’s a good thing for the Island.”
Shelter Island Police Department Chief Jim Read said that with 86 Lions Club members, students and staff from the Shelter Island School District, police, firefighters and EMTs, along with other town residents, organizers are hoping residents turns out to show their spirit and dedication.
Students looking to amass community service hours will find this a pleasant way to do so, according to Frank Vecchio, who has been organizing the effort on behalf of the Lions Club.
While the original goal was to gather 100 volunteers, organizers are anticipating many more, Mr. Vecchio said.
“We’re getting the community together to have a common purpose,” Chief Read said.“It’s a good thing for the Island.”
“Feed them and they will come,” Mr. Card said.
A Lions Club press release announced it would be an opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather, get a bit of exercise and share stories with friends and neighbors about how you coped or didn’t with the prolonged winter and cold early spring.
In the interests of safety, highly visible vests and debris bags will be provided, but volunteers are asked to bring work gloves, bug/tick repellent and a reusable water bottle.
If you’re willing to join in the effort, register at cleanup.shelterislandlions.org. A map on the site will enable you to choose the area where you would prefer to be assigned.”