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The threat of rain couldn’t keep Alyssa Moncada away from Saturday’s Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off in Copperas Cove.

“I really like to volunteer in our city’s different events,” the 18-year-old Copperas Cove High School student said as she stood inside the city library Saturday morning.

Sandra Thomas has been to several of these clean-up events over the years.

“If I count all the shirts that I’ve got, I’ve probably done it about seven or eight times now,” the 68-year-old volunteer said before heading out to collect trash.

“Every year I try to get a different color shirt,” Thomas said, laughing.

This year, Thomas and the other 135 other volunteers who came to the event received green t-shirts as a thanks for their efforts to clean up the community.

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Executive Director Roxanne Flores-Achmad was happy with the turnout, given that only 50 people had pre-registered for the event and a light drizzle was falling as volunteers gathered for a group photo outside the library.

“I’m very excited that, despite the rain, volunteers showed up enthusiastic and had a willingness to provide service in their community,” Flores-Achmad said.

“It can be a lot of fun picking up trash,” Flores-Achmad said before the event. “It’s about beautifying, it’s about educating.

“A lot of the comments we get from youth is that once that go out there and pick up trash, they find out how hard it is, and they’re the ones that decide not to litter.”

Volunteers who decided to brave the rain scattered to different locations around the city Saturday morning, including Copperas Cove City Park. About two-dozen volunteers had just gotten started picking up trash when they were told to pack up their gear and call it a day due to approaching thunderstorms.

Veronica Sheon was working with her 11-year-old daughter Emma to clean up around the park when the event was called- off.

“It is disappointing that we were unable to do more than we had,” Sheon said as she and her daughter prepared to leave the park. “But I’m sure they will reschedule or have other opportunities for this. (And) I’ll be back.”

Flores-Achmad said Saturday’s event wasn’t the only way people can participate in the Trash Off.

“The entire month is actually Great American Cleanup Month, so that gives them the opportunity to pick up trash (in the community) entire month,” she said,

Those that do pick up trash during April will get a certificate of appreciation from Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful.

For more information about picking up trash during Great American Cleanup Month, you can call Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful at 254-547-4242 or email kccb@copperascovetx.gov.

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