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Clarion Rotary Cleans up Downtown for Third Consecutive Year, Now with Several More Organizations

Sunday, September 24, 2023 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Matt Lerch

Clarion Rotary ALF Clean up 9-16-23 (1)CLARION, Pa. (EYT) — On Saturday, September 16, a group of local volunteers joined Clarion Rotary to clean up downtown Clarion before the influx of crowds for the Autumn Leaf Festival.

Instead of relying solely on Rotarians and their children, this time they were assisted by the Alley Cats, The Business and Revitalization Group, PennWest Clarion Swimming & Diving Team and Women’s Cross-Country Team, business owners of downtown businesses, members of the Penn West Clarion Student Senate and other university students.

Rachel Kister, a Penn West Clarion Student Trustee, spearheaded the Penn West Clarion group.

The Rotary offered a special thanks to Clarion Borough for their assistance on many fronts with the project.

Jesse Kelley from the YMCA kicked off the event by welcoming and thanking the groups for their willingness to assist.

Kelley noted that tens of thousands of visitors will be coming to Clarion for the Autumn Leaf Festival in a few weeks, and what a great opportunity the event is to showcase the town.

Rotarian Tom Spence trims weeds in Clarion Borough ahead of the Autumn Leaf Festival.

Rotarian Tom Spence trims weeds in Clarion Borough ahead of the Autumn Leaf Festival.

The group has been annually cleaning up downtown by bringing their own weed trimmers, brooms and dustpans, blowers, and trash cans with a multitude of heavy-duty garbage bags. Anti-skid from the previous winter, weeds growing up by the curbs and sidewalks, and litter being picked up and removed by the group from Second Avenue to the former Seidle Chevrolet building.

As volunteerism grows more and more important in the Clarion community as municipal resources become scarce, many have noticed the beautification of downtown by the large group of volunteers, The Alley Cats. Their flower containers stretch from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, making the walk downtown that much more enjoyable thanks to their green thumbs and altruism.

The District Governor of Clarion Rotary presented to the Clarion Rotarians on Monday, encouraged by the many outdoor projects that Clarion Rotary performs in the Clarion area.

He promoted being a leader in the community and setting an example.

As one Rotarian exclaimed during the Q&A portion of the District Governor’s presentation, he noted how one Rotarian was inside getting his haircut on Main Street at the barber, seeing another Rotarian walking by outside, bending down to pick up random trash and placing it in the municipal trash can. One never knows who will help inspire others to take pride in their community.

Luckily and fortunately, Clarion has many leaders and volunteers from many groups willing to lend a hand.

Rotary International unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.2 million people of action from more than 36,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.

For information on our local Rotary Club, visit

Two PennWest Clarion students lend a hand during the cleanup efforts in Clarion Borough.

Two PennWest Clarion students lend a hand during the cleanup efforts in Clarion Borough.

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