Annual ‘Take Pride Community Wide’ contest encourages clean-up around town
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce is urging Sioux Lookout and Hudson community members to participate in a community clean-up contest, as part of their second annual Pitch In event, “Take Pride Community Wide.” This campaign is run in partnership with the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, from April 11 to 24.
“This will be the second year that the Chamber has run the Take Pride Community Wide clean-up contest/campaign. We think that it is a fantastic way for members of the community to work together to keep our town clean!,” shared The Chamber’s Executive Assistant Kayleigh Bates. “This event is great as COVID does not have a strong impact on it,” she added.
The initiative includes a contest for collecting the most bags of garbage in the community. Bates shared that there is no registration required for the contest. To enter, participants must take a photo of themselves and all of the bags they collected and post it to the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. The total number of bags collected must be included in the post. The Chamber asks participants to return the bags to the Travel Information Centre for disposal.
First prize for the most bags collected will receive a $500 Fresh Market Gift Card. A $250 Fresh Market Gift Card is the prize for second place.
Bates shared that The Chamber is encouraging families and households to go out together, being mindful of social distancing and gathering rules. “While we can’t get together in large groups, this is still an activity that can be done safely. It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the spring weather!”
Pre-Covid, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout organized an annual Pitch In event. “The Municipality will be supporting the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce, as they will be spearheading the project this year, but the Municipality’s Public Works Department will be involved by collecting and disposing of the collected rubbish at no cost,” the Municipality shared.
Bates mentioned that garbage bags and gloves, provided by the Municipality, will be available at the Travel Information Centre.
“Participants are strongly encouraged to exercise caution when collecting garbage and always wear gloves and closed-toe shoes while doing so. Needles should not be picked up without using a sharps collecting kit and gloves. These kits are made available by the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU),” shared Bates. The Chamber also mentioned that household garbage is not allowed and will not be counted.
NWHU shared on their Facebook page on March 20, “Spring is in the air! The snow is starting to melt, uncovering all the things that got left behind. If you find a discarded needle, don’t panic!” The Northwestern Health Unit provides Safe Needle Pickup Kits for people to use in case they find a needle. NWHU asks people to call their office at (807)737-2292, to get a kit.
NWHU’s website advises people to always wear gloves while picking up needles, with its point facing down and away from them, as they place it point end first, into the container. It is advised to use tongs to pick it up. Tape the lid shut, and wash or sanitize hands when done. The container and its contents can be returned to the local Northwestern Health Unit office, the website added.
Bates shared that last year, approximately 240 bags were collected during the campaign. “This year we are hoping to have around the same number of bags collected or more, especially now that there seems to be an abundance of abandoned masks.” She concluded, “Any amount of garbage collected will be celebrated! We look forward to working together as we clean up our town and outdoor spaces. Let’s work together to “Take Pride Community Wide”. For more information, visit the Chamber’s website (www.siouxlookout.com), Facebook page @SLKTCC, or call (807) 737-1937.”