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Parents, kids attend beach clean-up

By by Dianna Wray
Sept. 25, 2010 at 4:25 a.m.

Gena Kennedy of Victoria sifts through the garbage she collected on Indianola Beach at the Adopt-a-Beach clean up on Saturday. The annual event removed over 2,500 pounds of litter off seven miles of Magnolia and Indianola beaches.

The Adopt-a-Beach Spring Clean-up is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, April 30. Interested volunteers should go to wwww.texasadoptabeach.org to find check-in sites and local coordinators. The pick-up happens rain or shine.

MAGNOLIA BEACH - The water from Lavaca Bay lapped steadily against the shores of Magnolia Beach as Victoria resident Gena Kennedy leaned over to pick up another bottle cap.

"If nobody ever picked up the trash imagine what it would look like after a while," Kennedy said, shaking her head.

Kennedy, along with about 260 other volunteers, spent her Saturday morning walking along the seven-mile stretch of coast that makes up Magnolia Beach and Indianola Beach, picking up trash for the Texas Adopt-a-Beach Fall Clean-up.

The Magnolia Beach Adopt-a-Beach Clean-up coordinator Rhonda Cummins said the crowd of volunteers was the most people they have had attend the event in the past three years.

While Cummins acknowledged the recent oil spill may have made people more aware of the need to take care of Texas beaches, she glanced at the sparkling blue sky overhead and said the beautiful weather may have been as a big a factor in the high volunteer turnout.

"It's the first day of real sunshine after all of that stormy weather, and it's a great day," Cummins said.

Crystal Donaho decided to spend her morning cleaning the beaches because she feels it's important to keep the beaches clean.

Donaho said she also wanted to set a good example for her two daughters, showing them how important it is to take care of the environment by picking up debris from the beach herself.

"They need to know how to protect the environment and protect other people. We're not in this world alone and they need to help out," Donaho said.

Donaho's daughter, Realynn Donaho, 8, said she was glad she decided to volunteer.

"It's fun to go to the beach and pick up trash," Realynn said, smiling.

The annual fall pick-up was one of many held across the Texas coast. Cummins estimated they collected more than 2,500 pounds of trash from the beaches on Saturday morning.

After the pick-up, volunteers were invited to go back to the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department for free T-shirts and hot dogs.

Cummins surveyed the crowd with satisfaction, noting a number of young people and children munching hot dogs and examining their new T-shirts.

"It's very satisfying to have people come out and care about our local community and the environment, especially the kids," Cummins said. "If we can teach our young this, then, hopefully, we can regain a sense of stewardship with our area and our beaches. Maybe people will care more."

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