Clean Up Greenville event returns


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:32 pm on Thursday, August 15, 2013

GREENVILLE — For the second year in a row, Greenville residents have come together to make sure the city is in tip-top shape for the annual Danish Festival.

Steve Schofield of Greenville wanted to make a difference last year and there was such a large amount of community support that the second annual “Clean Up Greenville” returned this year.

“It’s my way of trying to help give back to the community,” Schofield said. “It’s exciting to have so many people from the community give their time and energy to help clean up their neighborhoods.”

After Schofield discussed the event with Danish Festival coordinators, he said it was decided to focus on areas such as the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail and one block east and west of Lafayette Street. Schofield’s goal also included the parade route and a four-mile course including Baldwin Lake.

Because of the support of the community, he said it only took a matter of hours to coordinate the second annual clean up.

“Without the volunteers, this event wouldn’t be possible,” he said. “We had several local churches, community-oriented individuals and businesses help clean up around 20 or so locations.”

Each year, the goal has been to have the clean-up completed in time for the annual Danish Festival, which has been successfully done.

“Lord willing, I plan to organize this event in 2014, the 50th anniversary of the Danish Festival,” Schofield said. “The goal is really to give people an opportunity to make a difference in their neighborhoods and to spend an hour or so picking up trash to spruce up Greenville before Danish Festival. I think it means a little more when it’s their neighborhood.”

Danish Festival Marketing Director Amy Corey said one great thing about the festival is that it brings the community together.

“I think it’s wonderful that Steve Schofield puts together a crew of people to make sure the city is in tip-top shape prior to the festival,” she said. “It’s a big job.”

Corey went on to say this time of the year is when Greenville and its community members really shine.

“We pride ourselves on really pulling together as a team and I couldn’t ask for a better community to live, work and raise a family in,” she said.

After coordinating and finishing last year’s event, Schofield wrote his second book “Remember the Nails: 40 Days of Doing Something Uncomfortable on Purpose” based on the project.

What started the first event was a feeling Schofield got after driving by garbage, which he turned around to pick up because of his conscience.

“On my way to work, I felt the good Lord lay on my heart, ‘you should organize an event to clean up Greenville before Danish Festival,’” he said, noting it took him 40 days to put it together.

During those days, Schofield said he was uncomfortable approaching people and asking for their assistance.

“To my surprise, I was humbled by everyone’s willingness to get out into the community and help spruce up before Danish Festival,” he said.

The book also was generated from experiences Schofield had from a recent trip to the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, and Kyle Idleman’s book “Not-a-Fan.”

“Remember the Nails: 40 Days of Doing Something Uncomfortable on Purpose” can be purchased at Robbins Book List in Greenville or online at www.40days.co and www.amazon.com. The price is $13.99, or $3.99 for an e-book.

Schofield will hold a book signing from noon until 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at Robbins Book List.

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