Commanders in the Community
October 30, 2010
Trailside Park, Herndon, VA
Who gets up at 4:30 in the morning, on a cold Saturday, to go train for two hours? Well, many swimmers do that every weekend. Who gets up at 4:30, trains hard for two hours, eats a quick breakfast of bagels and juice, walks a mile, and then eagerly picks up trash for two more hours? Forty-six Herndon Aquatic Club Commanders did just that over the weekend at Trailside Park.
With temperatures in the low thirties to start, and barely making it into the forties, it would have been easy to roll over and stay in bed. But that's not how these swimmers roll. They were in the pool by 5:00, and trained hard for two full hours. After practice they had a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and juice. Led by Coach Emily Felker, they walked from the Herndon Community Center to Trailside Park. When the team reached the park they saw the task ahead of them for the first time. Rough terrain, a deep ravine, lots of very thorny and overgrown brush, and lots of trash lay before them.
The Commanders were not daunted. After receiving instructions, they swarmed the park. Some, climbing down the steep bank of the ravine, formed teams. Each group of swimmers had trash bags, recycling bags, and trash grabbers. Many of the older swimmers reached over the top of the ravine to grab trash that couldn't be retrieved from below. All morning there were shouts of, "I need a grabber over here", "we need more recycling bags", and "these bags are full and need to go to the parking lot". Swimmers could be seen running to lend a hand in a new spot. Enthusiastically and systematically they finished in two hours, what was expected to take three.
In the end, there were almost 30 bags filled with trash and recyclables, three bikes, a grill, a stop sign, chunks of concrete, and various other items removed from the park.
Thanks to all of the HACC team members who participated for making a difference in the community. The project was organized by Leslie DeBellas, HACC parent volunteer, who coordinated the effort with John Dudzinsky, Town of Herndon Community Forrester.
Thanks to Bagel Café in Herndon for donating the breakfast. Thanks to Erin Latimer, Marla Brazier, and Boyce and Kelly Ginieczki who helped deliver, set up, feed the swimmers, and clean up. And of course, thanks to the HACC swimmers for doing such a tremendous job.
Click here to see Coach Bruce's write up with pictures.
Click here to read the Booster President's thank you letter.