Leadership challenge

Published 1:20 am Monday, April 24, 2006

By By Dale Johnson
I have been very thankful for the chance to be a member of Leadership Atmore 2006. When I was notified of my selection by my employer, United Bank, I thought that participation in the program would be enjoyable and would allow me a great chance to meet some of Atmore's finest citizens. After almost seven months in the program, I am happy to say that I severely underestimated how the class might impact me.
To each and every person who has helped plan and host a Leadership Atmore 2006 session, Thank You! Our current class has enjoyed outstanding programs and events under the coordination of Tim Manning, Cindy Lee, Emilie Mims, among many others. From the top of Camp Beckwith's "Pamper Pole" to the halls of a local correctional institute, we have been challenged to push ourselves to achieve and to understand how our community functions. We have also been challenged to identify a way in which we could serve our community in such a way that we could help change Atmore for the better.
This last challenge is what we are currently undertaking. Please, plan to come help us clean up Atmore on Saturday, April 29th. The Kick-Off Event for Atmore's Picking Up, a community-wide, anti-litter campaign, will be held from 8 AM-noon on that Saturday. The day will include assembling teams to assist in the collection of trash from Atmore's roadways and providing a drop-off point for your personal trash. If you would like to see a cleaner Atmore, we would encourage you to assemble a team or join a team. You can do so by calling Shelly Williams at the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce at 368-3305.
While our Leadership class anticipates a successful day, we also know that the Atmore's Picking Up program will not be successful unless we truly impact how Atmore's citizens think about throwing trash in our public spaces and roadways. I would encourage you to be aware of the appearance of our town, your business, and your personal property. I would also ask that you think of the property of your neighbors and fellow citizens. This past weekend, my wife and I picked up over 26 gallons of trash in a distance of about 400 feet along Highway 31. That would mean that if we went a mile on Highway 31, we could have picked up over 343 gallons of trash. I don't know about you, but that seems a little excessive to me.
Such a large amount of trash along our roadways can have a negative impact on our area's economic development. As Atmore attempts to recruit new businesses to inhabit retail and manufacturing spaces in and around town, Atmore needs to look its best. If our roadways are littered with trash, we will not be able to secure commitments from many of our guests. Our city has the potential to build on our state's economic development by adding new corporate citizens that will bring new jobs and new people to our area. We need to be able to present our town well.
I hope that as you see opportunities to be involved in Atmore's Picking Up, that you will participate. We hope to extend our current partnership with the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Atmore to include many of Atmore's business and individuals. Without your support, our Leadership Project won't have much of a chance at success. I invite you to help Leadership Atmore's 2006 service project become a way to help change Atmore for the better. Many people in our town our planning a great event on April 29, 2006. I hope to see you at City Hall at 8:00 AM. We would love to have you.
Dale Johnson is a member of Leadership Atmore 2006.

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