It's one of my favorite sights -- East County's velvety green hills, often sprinkled with new spring blooms.
But, among the beauty is litter; and, plenty of it. And, so, the timing of Keep Antioch Beautiful is grand.
The brainchild of former councilwoman Martha Parsons, the event is set for 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday.
The third annual cleanup day gives residents -- far and wide -- a chance to take some ownership and pride in the city.
There are several sites to do your good deed. Cleanup zones are Dallas Ranch, Antioch and Park middle schools; and Diablo Vista, John Muir, Jack London, Bidwell, Belshaw and Mission elementaries; along with City Hall and the Red Caboose.
This year, volunteers have been given extra incentive to pitch in and help. Those helping can also earn money for their favorite school. Talk about a win-win. The school with the most participants has a chance to score $500. Second-place earns $300, and third gets $200. Participation prizes will be given for high school, middle and elementary.
As a thank-you, a free lunch will be served at Contra Loma Regional Park following the event. There are many individuals and organizations supporting this nice cause, which is fully funded by the following sponsors: City of Antioch, Antioch Unified School District, Allied Waste, Honeywell, Walmart, Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch, Genon, East Bay Regional Parks, Rivertown Preservation Society, DIGITAL services,
Groups, service clubs and others have signed up in forces, including the Antioch High and Deer Valley High key clubs, Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission, Antioch Rotary, Boy Scouts troops of Antioch, Kiwanis of the Delta, Operation Homefront & ECMFF, Rivertown Preservation Society, Rotary Club of the Delta, Target employees and United Citizens for Better Neighborhoods.
In the past couple years, more than 20,000 pounds of trash has been collected.
This is a chance to do a good thing for the community, hang out with friends and family, celebrate Earth Day and, yup, keep Antioch beautiful.
To sign up, register online at http://art4antioch.org/KAB-2012.asp. For more information, call 925-779-6137, option 1. You can also follow the event via Facebook's Keep Antioch Beautiful group.
OPEN FOR BIZ: And, speaking of volunteers ... Josie Monaghan is looking for a few good men -- and women.
Monaghan is the founder of East County Military Families & Friends, which offers loads of support, help and guidance in our area.
The Antioch resident needs help with the group's new nonprofit thrift store at 708 Second St. The downtown Antioch shop benefits programs for all-era veterans, along with peer-to-peer support. The entire operation is run by unpaid help.
"We donate our time, treasures and talents to make this happen," she said on her Facebook site to help garner attention to this worthy endeavor. "It's the least we can do to say thank you for all the sacrifice."
Volunteers are needed daily for everyday store tasks, such as organizing donations and sorting merchandise.
"The 'pay' is very rewarding," said Monaghan, an avid supporter of soldier and their families.
Monaghan is also spearheading a May 19 Walk for a Warrior event.
Thrift store hours are from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, Monaghan said to simply stop by the store or visit her Facebook page.
Contact Trine Gallegos at firstname.lastname@example.org.