INEZ, Ky. – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) and the Martin County Kiwanis Club are proud to announce the sponsors for its first-ever Martin County Cleanup and Celebration. The idea of a Cleanup and Celebration culminated from a meeting of a small group of citizens in Martin County wishing to learn more about SOAR and its Blueprint for the Future of Appalachia. The Cleanup and Celebration is a kickoff of community planning effort in Martin County that will allow for people to be engaged in their communities and work together to improve the quality of life and quality of place of those who care deeply about Martin County and its future.
The Outlaw State of Kind Foundation and Chris and Morgane Stapleton have made a significant donation to the event and are the presenting sponsor. Food City is the food sponsor, Pepsi is the beverage sponsor, and Appalachian Wireless is the t-shirt sponsor. East Kentucky PRIDE has also provided supplies for the Cleanup.
“When we first came together to discuss ways we could bring people together and begin to work together to create opportunities and overcome challenges, we reached out to Chris Stapleton’s management, and we never dreamed they would step up like this,” said Joshua Ball, associate executive director of SOAR. “The Stapletons have been very generous in supporting worthwhile projects across the region, and their gift will not only allow us to offset the cost of the cleanup and celebration, it will allow us to move forward to identify other ways we can bring people together to make a difference in Martin County.”
Area churches in Martin County have also pledged support to the effort. Inez First Baptist Church has agreed to provide inflatables at the Community Celebration, which is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, June 8 at the Roy F. Collier Community Center. Inez Freewill Baptist Church has donated food for the celebration. The celebration is FREE and open to the public. Individuals do not have to participate in the Cleanup to attend the Celebration.
“When we first thought of this idea, we knew that our churches and faith-based community had to be a part of this,” said Melissa Fannin Phelps, president of the Martin County Kiwanis Club. “We believe that the solutions to many of our challenges rest on our ability to come together, share ideas, identify opportunities, and work together to seize on those opportunities. I want to thank Pastor Casey Carver and Pastor Bubby Davis and their congregation for their support in this endeavor.”
The Celebration will feature music from artists from throughout Martin County. If you would like to perform, please contact Candy Crum at (606) 626-6906.
Individuals and groups can still register for the Cleanup, which will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. Those registered can identify a specific part of the county they would like to clean, or they can come to a central registration point and be assigned a spot. Individuals and teams can register online at www.thereisafuture.org/martincounty. Information will be released soon on various registration locations and drop-off points the day of the Cleanup via email.
There is no registration needed for the Celebration. It is FREE and open to everyone.
Phelps said the Cleanup and Celebration is an opportunity for the people of Martin County to come together and begin to move forward, together.
“The Celebration is all about us coming together, talking to one another, and showcasing the incredible talent we have throughout the county,” said Phelps. “If you care about Martin County and its future, we want you to attend and learn more about what we want to accomplish together.”
For more information on the Cleanup and Celebration, contact Phelps at (606) 534-0234.