Thursday, April 27, 2000

Ypsilanti Cleanup funds lag

Ypsilanti Cleanup funds lag
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea

Organizers of the Ypsilanti PRIDE community cleanup day are expecting thousands of volunteers to pitch in May 20 to spruce up the community.

They are also confident that individual and corporate sponsors of the annual event will provide the necessary finding.

Financial donations for the fifth year of the cleanup are lagging behind last year.
PRIDE--People Restoring Image and Development the Environment-- has quickly been established as a tradition in the city and township. Everyone from the Girl Scouts and coworkers to families and university students come together to spruce up the community by sweeping sidewalks, picking up trash and cleaning parks.

Laurie Ridenour, this year’s PRIDE co-chairwoman, said the committee has raised $4,800 so far--just enough to cover the cost of T-shirts the PRIDE committee gives to many of the 2,000 volunteers who participate in the service event.

Aimee Bahs, PRIDE treasurer, said fund-raising efforts are about two weeks behind schedule. The PRIDE event, to take place in less than a month, needs an additional $10,000 of donations, for a total of around $15,000.

“I feel confident that the money is out there,” Bahs said.

“People who have donated in the past will do it this year,” she added.
Typically, Bahs said, an individual contributor gives anywhere from $50 to $100. Smaller businesses have given $250-$500, while larger companies donate $1,000 or more. The money is used to defer the costs of the event.

For the first time this year, Bahs said contributors are tax-deductible. PRIDE committee members hope this will be en extra incentive to help get the PRIDE day funds up to speed, Bahs said.

PRIDE volunteers are rewarded with a lunch at Riverside Park that includes entertainment and awards, noon-2 p.m. Also this year a PRIDE Ride--a bus tour of local historical sites--is being offered in the afternoon. This is a project of the Leadership Ypsilanti class from last year.
Ridenour said the event kicks off at 9 a.m. at the downtown Ypsilanti KeyBank. Individuals who pre-register by May 5 get a free PRIDE T-shirt.

Late registration takes place at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event. Call the PRIDE registration hotline at (734) 434-7391 or send in PRIDE donations to the Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce, 301 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

Originally published Thursday, April 27, 2000