'You never have a second chance to make a first impression.' That common saying was the theme of the 6th annual Turlock Shines event, held on Saturday.
About 125 volunteers from local churches, school groups and families spent their Saturday cleaning up one of Turlock's main thoroughfares, Golden State Boulevard, and the city's entrance points from Highway 99.
"It's just another benefit to drive economic development," said Turlock Shines coordinator Mary Jackson. "We want to give people a really good first impression of Turlock."
Volunteers picked up trash, tumbleweeds and other unwanted items on N. Golden State Boulevard from Taylor Road to Monte Vista Avenue, and on S. Golden State Boulevard from F Street to the Merced County line. Each of the city's on-ramps and off-ramps from Hwy. 99 were also given a good cleaning on Saturday.
This was the first year that Turlock resident and Sacramento State student Allison Backlund participated in the Turlock Shines event. She, along with her college group from First United Methodist Church, tackled the debris at the Lander Avenue exits from Hwy. 99.
"We cleared most of the tumbleweeds that had grown, and a lot of trash on one particular exit," Backlund said.
She said the best part was driving home from Merced later that day and having her parents comment on the work.
"My parents were both really surprised at how much better it looked," Backlund said.
This was the first year Turlock Shines was held in September. For the first five years, the clean-up was held the first weekend in October. Jackson said she anticipates keeping the event at the end of September, as it doesn't conflict with SAT testing for high school students.
A second work day originally planned for Oct. 5 was cancelled, said Jackson.