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Community clean-up day expected to draw hundreds of volunteers
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The third time’s a charm when it comes to making Turlock shine.

From 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Oct. 2, Turlock will play host to the third annual Turlock Shines cleanup day, inviting volunteer teams to beautify the city from top to bottom.

It won’t just be Turlockers cleaning up town this year, though. For the first time, Turlock Shines will be held in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat World Day, bringing volunteers from around the county to help pick up trash and make the city spotless.

“Habitat for Humanity is pleased to join forces with Turlock Shines and the City of Turlock in a major neighborhood cleanup campaign to commemorate Habitat World Day,” said Stanislaus County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Anita Hellam. “This community-based effort will provide citizens with some much-needed resources and give volunteers an opportunity to make a difference.”

The Habitat for Humanity group will clean up a house they own on Minerva Street, and then clean other parcels in the area.

Habitat for Humanity’s involvement is especially appreciated said Turlock City Councilwoman Mary Jackson, who is also one of the organizers for Turlock Shines.

“They can clean anywhere in the county but they’re going to clean in Turlock,” Jackson said.

The added help from Habitat for Humanity is expected to bolster the number of volunteers to make this year’s Turlock Shines the largest in the community cleanup event’s three year history. Last year’s Turlock Shines drew between 350 and 400 volunteers, Jackson said, but an estimated 500 workers are expected to take four hours out of their busy Saturday this year.

Those local volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. in Donnelly Park at area M near the wooden play park. After a light breakfast, workers will re-stain the play park, clean water features at Broadway and Columbia parks, clean on- and off-ramps along Highway 99 in Turlock, and pick up garbage along Golden State Boulevard from the northern city limits to the Merced County border.

The goal, Jackson said, is to beautify both the city’s entrances – creating a more appealing city to new visitors – and to improve the state of recreation facilities around town. The event has the goal of helping to re-establish small-town pride.

The City of Turlock will join the effort too, conducting door-to-door visits in the Columbia Park area, offering free smoke detectors to those in need.

Turlock Shines will also offer free-of-charge yard work to those unable to maintain their own properties. Last year, Jackson said that Turlock Shines cleaned eight private residences belonging to senior citizens unable to perform their own yard care or afford professional lawn services.

“If you need your home cleaned, then just contact us,” Jackson said.

Turlock Shines is still seeking volunteers for the Oct. 2 cleanup. Both individual volunteers and volunteer teams, including those representing employers and community groups, are welcome.

For more information on Turlock Shines, to sign up, or to request yard service, contact Dana Vaughan at 668-3875 or Mary Jackson at 585-7372 or via e-mail at Volunteers are asked to bring their own gloves.

Volunteer forms are also available at Turlock City Hall, in the upstairs administrative office, at 156 S. Broadway. Sign-up sheets can be mailed to Attn: Mary Jackson, 156 Broadway, Turlock, CA 95380.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.