By Alicia Lacy
The Cove Herald
With rolled up sleeves and stained fingers, equipped with pressure washers and cleaning supplies volunteers cleaned up the city Saturday.
For the 19th annual "Make A Difference Day," the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful committee partnered with the Citizens' Police Academy Alumni Association to clean graffiti off various structures throughout the city.
The three-hour project included four sites: Erby Avenue, the City Park Headstart, Hughes Avenue and Heritage Park.
Using a variety of cleaning agents - even unconventional ones - the 30 volunteers scrubbed, cleaned and sprayed down buildings tagged with graffiti as well as fences, rocks and other structures.
While out on their mission to rid tainted structures of paint, volunteers spotted other areas that were tagged and cleaned those, too. Some areas proved harder than others to clean and equipment was not always working.
After a pressure washer failed, resident Rick Meredith lent his pressure washer and use of his water to volunteers so they could finish cleaning graffiti at Heritage Park.
"Even though we had trouble with the rocks and we found more graffiti, it's good because now we know about it," Bob Oakes of the CPA Alumni said.
KCCB chair Silvia Rhoads said the CPA Alumni provided a list of sites in the city that have been tagged.
"(CPA) Alumni was doing it before, and there wasn't much graffiti," Oakes said. "If you leave it, it will grow, so we have to keep ahead of it to keep it down."
Oakes, who monitors the daily police bulletins for the CPA Alumni, said graffiti in the city has increased with eight or nine incidents in the bulletins in the last couple of months.
CPA Alumni Association President Dorothy McClure said the project was good for the organization because "graffiti is a criminal act and we don't want it to spread or encourage it by leaving it for everyone to see."
Rhoads said the project helps combats graffiti and beautifies the city.
"It turned out better than I expected," Rhoads said leaving the last work site. "Community members and juvenile probation came out. I want to give them a big thank you."
Make A Difference Day is sponsored by USA WEEKEND magazine.
The event is held the fourth Saturday in October when millions participate in service events across the nation.
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.