ANTIOCH -- It's the fourth year, and Keep Antioch Beautiful is still going strong.

The citywide cleanup is set for 8:30 to 11 a.m. April 20 at various sites.

Martha Parsons, who dreamed up the event, has been working with a committee since January on the details for the big day.

"I'm very excited that this community event continues to bring volunteers out to help keep Antioch litter-free," she said.

Wade Harper, Antioch mayor, is the co-chair.

She said she's not surprised by the strong turnout and success of KAB. "We have great committee members, sponsors and volunteers. And, we have always had the support of the city leadership. It's fun."

Parsons especially enjoys the students participating in the morning event.

"(One of my favorite things) is seeing young people come out and volunteer," she said. "When volunteerism is learned at a young age, it continues for a lifetime." Parsons feels lucky to have a huge circle of supporters, which includes the KAB committee, city of Antioch, Antioch Unified School District, Allied Waste, Honeywell, Walmart, Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch, NRG Energy, East Bay Regional Parks, Pinky's Klassy Kar Wash, Paintball Park, Paradise Skate, Dick Straub (in memoriam), Jim Lanter (Antioch State Farm Insurance), Antioch Coin & Jewelry and Central Self-Storage of Antioch.

"They have (all) been part of Keep Antioch Beautiful from the beginning."


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And, several groups are already geared up for the big event. They include Antioch High and Deer Valley Key clubs, Boy Scout troops, Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch, Rivertown Preservation Society and UCBN.

While cleaning up is the goal, once again, there's a bonus for schools bringing in the most volunteers.

Participation prizes are given to one school at each grade level: High school, middle and elementary. First prize is $500, second is $300 and third is $200.

Folks are encouraged to put their school's name on the waiver form the day of the event to help a favorite campus earn money.

Parsons is happy to offer this extra to students.

"I got the idea from the Kiwanis Club," she said, adding that the money comes from "our wonderful sponsors."

Each location provides Dumpsters (donated by Allied Waste) and cleanup supplies, including gloves and trash bags. The first year, more than 900 volunteers pitched in to pick up nearly 12,000 pounds of trash from throughout the city. In the last three years, more than 1,500 have joined to collect 30,000 pounds of trash.

For everyone's efforts, volunteers are thanked with a free lunch at Contra Loma Regional Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

For Parsons, the event is more than just a trash pickup day -- it's a good chance to pull community together for something positive.

"It's a proactive way to help our community and meet your neighbors."

For more information, call 925-779-6137 or email Diane@Art4Antioch.org

Contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net.

If you go
What: Keep Antioch Beautiful
When: 8:30 to 11 a.m.
April 20
Where: Throughout Antioch
Info: To register, visit www.art4antioch.org/Keep-Antioch-Beautiful.asp.