In its fourth year, Team Up to Clean Up came out bigger than ever to spruce up Fredericktown.
The effort is organized by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, but many businesses and organizations have joined the effort as volunteers and donors.
“The Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s motto is ‘Making Madison County a great place to live, work and play,'” MCCC event organizer Tessa Rehkop said. “We recognize that we’re more than just a means to provide networking opportunities but also to focus on the ‘live’ and ‘play’ aspect of the motto. Team Up to Clean Up fully encompasses both of those by making Madison County a beautiful place to live and also providing a fun event for people to come together.”
Through the years, the event has continued to grow in both support and size.
“We had over 50 volunteers, which is the most we’ve ever had,” Rehkop said. “We also had several projects this year, even moving outside of downtown and out to City Lake.”
Rehkop said, every year she is able to add more projects to the day and loves seeing families coming out to volunteer together.
“It’s so wonderful seeing so many kids getting involved,” Rehkop said. “These are the future residents of our community, and if they start to take pride in their town now, hopefully they’ll have it for life.”
Rehkop said, a lot of the same volunteers came back this year along with some new faces. She said, the teams are really starting to get into it, and several wore matching shirts.
“I love this day, not just because we make the downtown look nice but also because we come together as a community and have fun working on these projects,” Rehkop said. “When you’re planting flowers and picking up trash, you start to take pride in your work. After Saturday, I know I personally notice every piece of trash or every single weed in town, and I stop to pick it up and pull it. I think it’s the same for everyone else that volunteered. Can you imagine if everyone in town had this mindset and sense of community pride.”
This year’s volunteers worked on the usual projects such as spreading mulch around the court square, park and city hall. They also planted the planters around the square, and painted the picnic tables, benches and stage in the park.
“We added some more projects this year, concentrating on pulling weeds around downtown,” Rehkop said. “We also added some landscaping around the park bathrooms. We built a planter box around the Wanda Priest Park sign, but most importantly, we planted some more azaleas in Azalea Park.”
The day was made possible by volunteers from Faith Foundation Children’s Home, the Madison County Collector’s Office, AAO, Missouri Cobalt LLC, Cap America, Hammack Advisory Group, Thrive Church, Trinity/Zion LWML, Madison County Service Coordination, Community Beautification Committee, RFS Consulting and the City of Fredericktown.
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce purchased needed supplies, Gifford Lumber donated lumber and weed killer, the City of Fredericktown donated mulch, paint and tools, the Azalea Festival Board donated azaleas and roses, Cap America donated bottled water, Pense Brothers Drilling donated topsoil and plants, and the Community Beautification Committee donated the flowers for the planters.
“Thank you to everyone who came out to volunteer,” Rehkop said. “Not only are you making the town look nice, but you make it not feel like work but rather a fun day.”
Rehkop said, she would also like to thank everyone who donated resources for the day.
“We truly live in a wonderful community that doesn’t hesitate to help their neighbors,” Rehkop said. “Also, I’d like to thank my dad, Ronnie Rehkop, who does so much work for me behind the scenes.”
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at email@example.com