By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Helpers clean up for county
KFCB banquet marks busy year
KFCB Banquet 7 es
Keep Forsyth County Beautiful reusable bags were given out at the banquet. - photo by Emily Saunders

Also honored Thursday night were:

• Governmental department: Forsyth County water and sewer
• Business: Worth & Associates
• School group: West Forsyth High Beta Club
• Class: South Forsyth High AP Environmental Programs
• Recycling coordinator: Ute Hartzo, Haw Creek Elementary
• Educator: Holly Loveland, Vickery Creek Elementary
• Adopt-a-Road newcomer: Michael and Angela Bond
• Adopt-a-Road volunteer: Jack Gleason
• Volunteer: Don Bailey
Earth-friendly efforts were celebrated Thursday during Keep Forsyth County Beautiful's annual awards banquet.

Environmental stewards from across the county gathered at Big Creek Elementary to share dinner and swap stories of cleanups among table centerpieces featuring aluminum cans and cardboard cutouts.

Kelli Mitchell, who received the top student award, reflected on last year's Christmas tree recycling while watching the group's slideshow.

The West Forsyth High School junior will intern this summer with the organization that she's always eager to help, said Tammy Wright, Keep Forsyth's environmental programs director.

"The environment became Kelli's project, and she did everything you can imagine over the last year that has to do with environmental issues," Wright said.

Several schools took home awards for both classroom and club service.

West Forsyth's Green Club, which Mitchell will lead next school year, was honored as Adopt-a-Road group of the year. Members put in more than 90 hours during eight cleanups this year.

"If the school year was longer, I assume the numbers would be even higher," said Kevin Smith, Keep Forsyth's community outreach specialist.

Forsyth Central High School's International Club was named top volunteer group after pledging all its service hours to community cleanups.

"It's important to us because it represents that we're not people who can be doing bad stuff, but we help other people out there," said Bianca Pacheco, club president.

Three elementary schools received "green school" awards for their environmental programs.

Banquet host school Big Creek Elementary got the coveted gold level banner for its recycling efforts. Principal Sherri Black also received the junior leadership award.

Haw Creek and Vickery Creek elementary schools received silver level banners for either starting or resurrecting environmental schoolwide programs.

Community and business groups were also recognized.

The Avenue Forsyth received the Junior Business of the Year Award for holding community programs, including the recent Great American Cleanup.

"This event turned out to be the largest single volunteer event in KFCB history," Wright said. "We had 227 volunteers come out one morning in the rain to clean up the roads."

Several other organizations and residents picked up trash throughout the year, which recently became easier due to online registration through Forsyth County Community Connection. The volunteer agency won the Service to the Community Award.

"Volunteers love coming out for [KFCB]," said Nicole McCoy, director of Community Connection.

Smith said 1,196 hours were pledged toward road cleanups in 2009, collecting 715 bags of garbage.

"Who would have thought people would be excited about trash?" he said.