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Volunteers to help make Turlock shine
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Members of the First United Methodist Church college group Teddy Snyder, Dustin Speckman, Rosalind Kingsley-Hurst and Allison Backlund clean up the Hwy. 99 on-ramp at Lander Avenue during the 2013 Turlock Shines event. - photo by Photo Contributed

Spring may be the traditional season in which to clean-up, but locals will get a chance to come together and beautify the town on Saturday for the seventh annual Turlock Shines event.

The event was originated by former Turlock Unified School District member Timm LaVelle and Dana Vaughan who found that Turlock could benefit from some cleaning up and beautification, especially in areas where visitors first enter the city. This initiative has since been translated into Turlock Shines, where one day a year locals contribute to clean up Turlock especially the on and off ramps near Highway 99, Golden State Boulevard from Taylor to the Merced County Line, as well as some city parks, alleys, and homes.

“It just helps our great City staff and our community to make a great first impression to any new businesses, both small and large, and visitors to Turlock and to have a good feeling about our community. I don't know how many times I've been told in the last eight years what a clean city we have,” said Turlock Shines coordinator Mary Jackson. “This is all great for our city, with money being spent in our community, which means more tax dollars for the city.”

While the annual event allows City employees an opportunity to contribute firsthand to the town they serve, it has also proved a successful venture for local citizens to volunteer their time and efforts. 

“Volunteering is a great experience for everyone involved. We talk about everyone having something to give, and this is a worthwhile project,” said Jackson.

Since its inception Turlock Shines has increasingly grown and is successful in large part due to the contributions of not only the volunteers but also local businesses such as Turlock Scavenger, which has allowed the Turlock Shines committee to dump their extensive amount of trash from the event for free each year.

Turlock Shines will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at Donnelly Park for light snacks and a safety talk before dispersing across the town to make Turlock shine.