Started in 2001 by the Inlet Area Chamber of Commerce, the event has grown annually.
This year alone, 110 sponsors donated money, food and supplies.
Event overseer and planner Adele Burnett of the Inlet Information Center ordered 1,030 T-shirts, which went out to volunteers who cleared trash all around the towns, including from fields, roadsides, parks, and waterfronts.
Organizers at each location assigned areas for clean-up to volunteers, who were provided with work gloves, trash bags and trash pokers in some instances. Local businesses provided lunches to hungry volunteers.
Lunch at the Eagle Bay Fire Hall for the Inlet, Eagle Bay & Big Moose volunteers was provided by T’s Ez Mart, Daiker’s Inn, Bay Café, The Seventh Lake House, Eagle Bay Fire Department & Ladies Auxiliary, Beauchamp Builders, Dan’s Big M, Amanda Miller, and Adele Burnett.
Lunch for Indian Lake volunteers was provided by Route 30 One Stop.
Lunch for Raquette Lake volunteers was provided by Raquette Lake Tap Room.
Lunch for Long Lake volunteers was provided by Long Lake Diner/Owls Head Pub.
Each town supplied trash bags and gloves for volunteers, except for Old Forge, which obtained trash bags from the NYS DOT, plastic gloves from the Town of Webb school district, and some work gloves from True Value and Old Forge Hardwares.
After the first very successful Community Pride Day in 2001, the Eagle Bay Citizens’ Committee quickly wanted to be a part of it. The following year, they collected money from local businesses for the first shirts.
After Eagle Bay ran it for a few years, Old Forge decided to participate, then Long Lake and eventually Indian Lake. The Inlet school children participated for the first time in 2002 and have joined in every year since. Inlet organizers try to provide an activity for the children, in addition to cleaning up the parks. This year they made wind chimes and stepping stones for the new Youth Commission building.
This is the first year that Indian Lake school students have participated, and Long Lake School students participated last year for the first time.
It is important to have school children involved in Community Pride Day, according to Adele Burnett, who purposefully schedules it during the week. “I love the fact that the teachers take the time to get their children out and participate in cleaning up the streets of their towns. If it were on a Saturday, I believe we would not see half as many school children,” she said.
Event organizers said they wish to thank all the businesses who contributed money, food and cleaning supplies as well as the many volunteers who lent their time, work and enthusiasm.