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Residents help clean up downtown Marshall

By Ryan Wagoner
Oct. 25, 2015 at 4 a.m.

Hannah Luce of Marshall picks cigarette butts out of a flower planter as volunteers clean up Saturday in downtown Marshall.  (Kevin Green/News-Journal Photo)

A group of about 20 volunteers hit the streets of downtown Marshall on Saturday morning to clean up litter during the first Make A Difference Day event.

Volunteers filtered into the Convention and Visitors Bureau building to get their block assignments — and a quick doughnut or kolache from the center's conference room — and came out with a pair of gloves, trash bags and cleaning tools in hand.

Each group had maps that focused on four city blocks, including the areas around Chase Bank, Telegraph Park and along Washington Avenue. Volunteers also removed dead or decaying plants from planter boxes lining the streets in front of downtown businesses.

The Tourism and Promotions department organized the event to get the area ready for Wonderland of Lights and to participate in the national Make A Difference Day initiative hosted by USA Today.

Some students from Marshall High School's Junior ROTC program and Texas State Technical College attended the event. TSTC senior Victoria Spray said about seven students from the college showed up to help. Her group was responsible for cleaning the area along Austin Street.

"Some of us are from student government, and the others are from Phi Theta Kappa," Spray said. "I came out to volunteer because I haven't done it in a while and thought it was a good opportunity. Last time I was able to volunteer was in Van after the tornado hit."

Christi Glawson came with her three sons, Matthew, Luke and Joseph, and a family friend, and started the morning by picking up cigarette butts and small items along the front of Chase Bank.

"My oldest asked me, 'Are we going to get a stick?'" Glawson said, laughing. "I wanted to bring them out because I thought it could be a good opportunity to help do something for the town, and it's a good for them to learn about appreciating their town. If our town needs loving, we'll give it some loving."

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