Giving Back

Clean Up Efforts a Slam Dunk for Elizabeth

Mayor J.  Christian Bollwage, Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr., and Pat Vella, the event's organizer, pose with a group of young Girl Scouts from Bayway. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr., addresses the crowd. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Organizer Pat Vella, municipal recycling and community coordinator for the city, gives instructions to the volunteers. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Elizabethtown Gas Company is one of several corporations to send teams. Credits: Fran Sullivan
New Jersey Youth Corps gives youths ages 16 to 25 a second opportunity. The state-funded non-profit teaches life skills, academics, and career exploration. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Approximately 450 volunteered their time to clean up Elizabeth. Credits: Fran Sullivan

ELIZABETH, NJ – An event with the colorful name Slam Dunk the Junk Earth Day Celebration today brought together a diverse group of 450 volunteers with one goal in mind: Making Elizabeth a more beautiful place by picking up the litter.

The city-wide clean-up, now in its twelfth year, attracted all ages and walks of life to the front of City Hall. There were corporate groups, such as Elizabethtown Gas, Girl Scouts from Bayway, youth groups like New Jersey Youth Corps, a state-funded, community-based non-profit, and senior citizen groups.    

“This year, we have 24 organizations participating, one of the largest yet,” said Pat Vella, municipal recycling and community coordinator, who organized the event. “We have corporations, community groups, school students, college students, and even senior centers participating. In addition, there are a number of schools that have pledged to clean up around their areas.”

After welcoming remarks from Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, Council President Patricia Perkins-Auguste, and Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr., the group grabbed a rake or a broom and set off to make a difference.  



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