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Litter project funds sought

By By Adam Prestridge
Most people like a good challenge.
The Leadership Atmore Class of 2006 has a challenge in store for business leaders and homeowners.
In early August, the class mailed out more than 400 solicitation letters to Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce members asking for monetary support of its "Atmore's Picking Up" campaign. As of Tuesday afternoon, only 16 responses had been received.
"I think it's a disappointment that we've only received a limited number of responses from the entire Chamber membership including both businesses and community leaders," class member Dale Johnson, who has been active in the litter campaign, said. "I think that it shows that the business community isn't really worried about what the town looks like. With the Rivercane project and other economic developments, it has the potential to really restrict how much we grow and how many businesses we attract here."
Included with the responses were contributions totaling $2,900. Class president Chad Bartz said that the amount is far less than expectations.
"We were hoping to raise more than $25,000," Bartz said. "I was hoping that we would have had a better response."
In an effort to reach that goal, the class decided last week to extend its deadline for partnership commitments to Sept. 15.
"We want to give everybody the opportunity to take part," Bartz said. "The first time we did the pick up, we had a 100 people participate, and it seemed like there was a lot of energy and support for the program."
The class has scheduled another pick-up day for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 beginning at the Atmore City Hall, two weeks prior to Williams Station Day.
The Leadership Class of 2006 committed to keeping Atmore clean as part of its class project. As a part of its commitment, the class also committed to starting an informative educational program for local schools.
"We've got a great education program coming to the schools," Bartz said.
Steve Trash will present his litter program to area elementary schools, including Rachel Patterson, A.C. Moore, Huxford, Escambia Academy and Atmore Christian, on Oct. 2-4. More than 1,600 children will benefit from the program, which has been presented to more than a million students nationwide.
Financial support from the community as a whole will help make the goals set forth by the Leadership Class easier to obtain.
Businesses and individuals can donate funds in increments of $20, $50, $100, $250 and $500. Bronze ($100), silver ($250) and gold ($500) sponsors will each receive sponsorship recognition and a static sticker for their storefront. Silver and gold sponsors will receive three and five "Keep Atmore Clean" roadside signs respectively, and gold sponsors will be recognized on educational printed materials as well.
Send tax-deductible donations to Leadership Atmore Class of 2006 c/o The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce to 501 S. Pensacola Ave., Atmore, AL. 36502. Make checks payable to Leadership Atmore Class of 2006.