Volunteers from the Pueblo West Metropolitan District, Pueblo West Chamber, Pueblo West Women’s League, and 3R Technology Solutions joined forces on Saturday, June 12 to provide an accessible and affordable alternative to illegally dumping trash into Pueblo West easements. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Pueblo West Chamber and Women’s League, who both support Pueblo West businesses and residents in various ways throughout the year.
Community supporter and Bank of the San Juan representative, Tim Ravencamp, is a regular volunteer who returned to the clean up for a second year and used the opportunity as a teaching moment for his children. He and his wife, Christy, and sons Kaden, 10, Colton, 7, and Jaxon, 5, canvassed the community, seeking veterans, disabled, and elderly residents who do not have the resources or the physical ability to participate and helped them by providing a pick up service for their trash. The Ravenkamp family volunteered to use their time and resources to bring truck loads to the 280 E McCulloch drop-off site in a repeat performance from last year.
“The folks we picked up from said they were very thankful that we did this as there would have been no way they could have done it themselves,” he said. “To us, that’s what it’s all about, helping those in need.”
Ravenkamp said he wants to teach his boys as much as he can and show them the importance of helping others, especially when it concerns veterans, the elderly, and the disabled. Ravenkamp’s employer, Bank of the San Juans, also encourages community volunteerism because “giving back to our community is one of our core values.”
Ravenkamp’s eldest son already is following in his dad’s footsteps. Kaden has accepted the 50 Yard Challenge from Rod Smith’s Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a national non-profit organization that provides free lawn care to the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans, who do not have the time, resources, and/or money to take care of their own yards. Kaden is one of 1850 kids in eight countries who have accepted the challenge, and one of just 26 in Colorado.
Pueblo West Women’s League member Deb Fortune was one of eight Women’s League members who volunteered over two shifts to greet participants, give directions, and take money for tickets at the clean up event. She said the Women’s League exists to support Pueblo West and its different community efforts while providing fellowship to its members.
“Our goal is friendship and financial support, and this is a perfect example of that,” Fortune said.
Amy Gasperetti, executive director of the Pueblo West Chamber, said the Chamber was glad to be in its third year as an event partner. She likes that the event allows the community to dump items like paint and tires at a reasonable cost and without a long trip to the county landfill.
“Anything we can do for community events, we try to get involved and help,” Gasperetti said.
Jack Pendelton of 3R Technology Solutions was in his first year participating in the Pueblo West clean up, having previously been a part of similar recycling events at Swallows Charter School.
“We do this to curb the illegal dumping and to keep electronics out of the ditches and alleyways,” he said. “Electronics aren’t allowed in the landfill because of the different heavy metals contained within them.”
Pueblo West Metro District Engineer Shawn Winters estimated six full dumpsters of general waste, yard waste, and mattresses and another dumpster of scrap metal were filled. Initial figures showed 48 tires, 28 mattresses, 23 glass monitors, 9 televisions, and 12 hard drives among the day’s donations.