Saturday, December 31, 2005

Keep Carrollton Beautiful 2005

Keep Carrollton Beautiful – 2005
By FounderSharonGoddard

Keep Carrollton Beautiful started the year with a dedicated Board of Directors (Jeff Weaver our Board Chair, Mark Schallhorn Vice-Chair, Doug Tobe Treasurer/Secretary, Julie Poe and Mia Simmons) and a very frazzled Executive Director, Sharon Goddard. We had accomplished much in the last year, but it took a toll on all of us. We needed to learn how to be a board and function like one – amid all the personalities and we needed to figure out how to make it all happen without one person doing it all!

Our planet was also overwhelmed – by all the natural disasters and everyone pitching-in to help those in need a world away – making it more difficult to raise funds to sustain our local commitment. We met the challenge and exceeded everyone’s expectations while giving all our surplus supplies to Metrocrest Services for the tsunami victims.

A major accomplishment of the year was negotiating Adopt-A-Spot with the city manager’s office ‘ Leonard Martin and Beth Bormann. We would never have gotten on the same page without our silver tongued Jeff Weaver. Trinity Medical Center signed on as our first adoptee.

As we progressed through the year, we found that we had learned a great deal about promoting programs and giving successful events. In February, our Texas SmartScape classes (with Marina Giggleman, Marian Buchanan and Mia Simmons instructing) were very well received with standing room only because the City put it on their website. The Trashy Art Contest we held for the Girl Scouts included both Cross Timbers and Tejas Councils and was a big hit with the winners ‘ getting patches, ribbons and their names in the paper!

The relationships we’d begun last year really paid off as the older Girl Scouts came to earn leadership badges by helping to plan the Great American Cleanup 2005; and the Carrollton Evening Lions Club cooked almost 1000 hot dogs for it too. We had 655 volunteers cleaning 54 designated locations all over Carrollton, collecting 8690 pounds of litter and one live mouse! Albertsons generously gave us hot dogs, cookies and t-shirts to boot. Dr. Pepper, represented by Bill Kirkland of Carrollton, gave us all the drinks and t-shirts also. Trinity Waste Services was there with roll-offs and their mascot, Mobius. Amy Weaver (Jeff’s daughter) turned out to be a great mascot for us in her KCBee costume provided for us by Martha and Joe Grizzel (some great volunteers).

We hosted Intuit’s Earth Day River Cleanup for the second year and it went like clockwork on a beautiful spring day. Trinity River Expedition’s Charles Allen brought his boats and worked with us all day. We were pleased about only collecting 1800 pounds of litter from a much cleaner Elm Fork.

Two of our board members, Mia Simmons and Julie Poe resigned with too much on their plates and we were proud to have Matthew Marchant join us for a short while after he was defeated in the mayoral race.

To further our relationships with the City and our sponsors, we were a vendor with Fuji Film USA at the Elm Fork Nature Fest and made the City’s July 4th Celebration a litter-free event. The t-shirts that Wisdom Works donated for our great volunteers from Turner High School’s National Honor Society (lead by Michael Wu) were perfect to let the crowd know who we were.

For the first time, we participated in the regional Trinity River Trash Bash with Dallas Down River and with Carrollton Evening Lions Club cooking. We had promised volunteers lunch, canoes and life jackets and were surprised by 150 volunteers! With Dallas Down River’s expertise and boats and the enthusiasm of groups like our Board of Directors, Boy Scouts, Turner’s Honor Society, churches and individuals we cleaned 1500 pounds out of the Trinity on a very HOT day in August. With heat exhaustion and swearing never to do it again, Sharon’s brain went to work on how we could have younger volunteers with more stamina ‘ our Teen Advisory Board was born.

The Board overruled the ‘never again’ decision with Peggy Healey (our new board member who had just run for the school board and who home-schools her four children) stepping up to head next years Trash Bash. It was so hot no one wanted to eat, so we gave all the extra food and drinks to Metrocrest Services for Katrina evacuees.
August was a very pivotal time. We composed a letter trying to help the City and the City Council (Mayor Becky Miller has always been in our corner) see what value we bring to the community with our volunteers and programs. After some research, we discovered that environmental groups in other cities received — the number of households in their city, times $0.01, times 12 months, times the number of events they hosted. We plugged in Carrollton’s 43,253 households making $5,190.36 what other cities contribute for each environmental education event provided. The Council, the City Manager and City Lawyer were not swayed. At the City Council meeting, in one more attempt to get our Community Service Assistance Grant raised, Sharon stated that we had ‘amassed more than 8247 volunteer hours worth 93 thousand 2 hundred and 56 dollars for the economic development of Carrollton ‘ in just the last twelve months’. Everybody smiled and nodded, but they did not add to our Community Service Assistance Grant, leaving us to figure out how to host four specific public events on $5,000.00. If the City of Carrollton provided these events using their employees, it would cost them $102,811.95!

We celebrated our amazing women volunteers with a Ladies Luncheon at La Hacienda Ranch. We had a fun time and came up with some great ideas for fundraising and programs.

All year we worked with the Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD (with Victor Melton) to establish a Green Team in each school that wanted to participate; encourage them to work on their school campuses for Clean Sweep for Schools; making a video for the Squirrel Brigade program with Turner’s Media Academy and filming Carrollton Elementary’s Green Team learning how to plant tree seeds and trees (Mark Schallhorn and Lela Kahn were our instructors). We established our Teen Advisory Board consisting of Michael Wu from Turner, Jessica Cravens at Smith, Minhaj Chowdhury from Ranchview and Angela Miguel at Hebron; with a representative from Creekview not far behind. Sharon also wrote several grants to revitalize the CFBISD Outdoor Learning Center planning for a fence around a ‘Wildflower Park’, a boardwalk out into the pond, a classroom pavillion and a director’s building with Ron Marrs of Wright Group Architects helping us with the design.

We acquired another wonderful board member, Andrew Harsch (he is in marketing). Andrew has already worked on a marketing plan for us (which we really could use!).
Texas Recycles Day was a big success with 7 recycling vendors and 87 volunteers (our Teen Advisory Board did a great job of inviting their schools) diverting 22,000 pounds of recyclables from the landfill. We unloaded more than 345 citizen vehicles!
In an attempt to give our sponsors a unique opportunity, we hosted Meeting with the Mayor. Mayor Becky Miller already writes a column for our newsletter and agreed to meet with and answer questions from business leaders who were our sponsors or were potential sponsors. It was a festive affair falling just before the Christmas rush with lots of good food from El Chico Caf’. Mayor Miller gave us a history of how the city had evolved and what the transit plans were for the future. Carrollton Evening Lions Club signed up as our official sponsor!

Sharon recruited or renewed 15 sponsorships (Ebby Halliday Realtors, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., City of Carrollton, The Civic League, Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford, Halliburton, Green Mountain Energy, Tom Thumb, Rhoton Funeral Home, Wright Group Architects, Trinity Medical Center, Sotherby Homes and Carrollton Evening Lions Club), with some thanks to Mayor Miller’s referrals and 28 business, family and individual members, raising $17,145.00 cash and $12,509.43 in-kind donations. Sharon wrote 4 grants and created newsletters for each season. We also continued our Yard of the Month award by giving it to the Khan family. Our Volunteer of the Season award for the fall went to Martha and Joe Grizzel.

We ended our year by following the advice of the State of Texas and setting a two-year term for our executive board members — meaning that we now have no officers until January. We have become part of the fabric of the community ‘ people are calling from out of nowhere asking all sorts of questions. They think we’re the City!!!

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