GALLONS GATHERED IN GREAT GARBAGE GAMES
13,500, to be imprecise. North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW-since 2000), hosted its Great Garbage Games of May, 2006, combined with its 2006 Annual "Meet Your Neighbors" Picnic, on Saturday, May 6, on "Skydiver Flats". The site, just North of Coco Loco was generously furnished by Coco Loco, Louis and Rose Cappello, and David and Alexandra Hauptli.
Six teams of 8-12 children, and three teams comprised of 24 San Pedro Police Cadets (led by Officer Dwayne McCullough) filled more than 300 garbage bags with 45 gallons apiece, as they picked the Cart Path (and some beaches) clean from the bridge to Captain Morgan's.
The event was well organized by leader Pat Stiley and a hard working crew of about a dozen adult volunteers. Six ‘Managers’ (volunteers with golf carts) selected team captains from the more than 50 children gathered eager to win money. The team captains took turns in choosing their members and quickly huddled to select names. A color was assigned to each team and they were given colored crepe paper, black trash bags, twist ties and latex gloves. After being given the rules of the game they caravanned north to their assigned destinations.
Three officers from the San Pablo Police marched up with 24 cadets. They were divided into teams like the neighborhood group and released to clean from Coco Loco to the bridge.
Bags were marked and left along the road where the transportation team picked them up, took them across the bridge to the staging area, sorted them by team and judged the winners
Mayor Paz, and the Town Council, kept the garbage trucks busy for hours, hauling load after load from the South bridge landing. NACNW President Natalie Palen, noting no remaining evidence of the Garbage Games by Sunday noon, declared the project a town and neighborhood success, sure to be repeated. Special thanks are due Robert Lopez and Steve DeMaio (Paradise Found Belize), Ivan Staines (Caye Management), and Keith Newton (B-Lease) for hours of hauling garbage in the hot sun.
200 hotdogs, 150 hamburgers, gallons of beer and beverages, and mountains of rice, beans and chicken were consumed by children, volunteers, and "Meet Your Neighbor" guests. Captain Morgan's and Hamilton"s donated supplies and manpower to satisfy a never-ending line at the tables. None of this neighborhood-building success would have been possible without the generosity of Casa Pan Dulce, San Pedro Supermarket, Island Supermarket,Superbuy, and Manelly's Ice Cream.
Neither would cash prizes, garbage bags, billboards, or the events themselves have been possible, without the early support of sponsors like Capricorn, Reef Village Resort,B-lease, Sunrise Realty, Rendezvous, El Pescador,and the Butterfly Jungle.
The kids and volunteers not only made miles of the North side more pleasant for residents, businesses and guest of la isla bonita, but residents, businesses and guests responded in kind. Dozens spent hours creating and participating in a feeling of neighborhood warmth, and all seemed to agree, that the picnic must also be repeated.
Clearly, the cash prize garbage collection competition was the highlight of the day.
AND THE WINNERS WERE;
First Place – Tigers captain Chantz Rawson
Second Place –Jaguars captain: Samir Itzob
Third Place – Girl Dolphins captain: Katinie Montero
Most Individual – Eleven and older – Ramos Ack, (tie) Deamya & Marvin, Erick, Migel Nunez, Venancia Cho and Ryan Walter
Ten and younger – Timothy Jams, Charity, Melvin Betancout, Karisa Albeno-Luis-Lloyd Boddo, (3 way tie) Rosita Cho-Sheila M.-Kimara Mohtero and Ruben Olivarez.
A very special thanks to the team managers: Robbie Lopez, Krystyna ???, Heleane McClean, Glen Wilson, Cullen Walker and Taylor LeClaire.