Southport Island Association’s (SIA) annual Island Clean Up Day went off without a hitch Sunday, May 2.
As many as 50 islanders, young and old, gathered at the town hall for a hot dog lunch at noon, to sign up for a stretch of road and pick up their trash bags. The lunch, sponsored by Kaler’s Restaurant of Boothbay Harbor, was cooked by Gerry Gamage and served by SIA’s co-vice president Maddie Kaler and board member Val Gamage.
The event has been going for some 15 years. “Our aim is to support our town crew and keep the island lovely,” said Maddie Kaler. “The crew has so much to do during the year that they simply don’t have time to pick up trash as well. So, we help them out.”
The town crew is still involved in the pickup. At the end of the afternoon, crew members drive around the island to pick up the filled bags the volunteers have left; black bags go to the dump, white bags with returnables are returned in support of Southport Central School.
SIA President Alice Mutch was delighted by the high turnout, especially by the number of youngsters. “In recent years we’ve put a lot of effort into making the association more family oriented,” she said. Plus, this year “we’ve been busier than ever supporting people who haven’t been able to get out, and providing meals on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Father’s Day. It’s a lot but it’s fun to do.”
Among the younger volunteers taking part in Sunday’s cleanup were the Hurd brothers, George, Charlie and Jack, accompanied by Cozy the dog; Agatha, Ford and Sarah Harris; Angus, Mabel and Silas Gamage( and Georgia Griffith.
In previous years, the town crew has collected upwards of 40 full bags from the day’s efforts and it certainly looked like 2021 would be an impressive year.