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Keep Hall Beautiful makes pitch for city funds
Organization's proposed budget is $184,458
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Keep Hall Beautiful Executive Director Cindy Reed put her endurance to the test Sunday, running in the Publix Georgia Half Marathon.

It was her first attempt at that feat, but it's taken a similar type of stamina trying to tackle environmental issues in Hall County.

Established in the 1990s, Keep Hall Beautiful is a nonprofit agency aimed at environmental stewardship. Last year, the group collected 54,900 pounds in trash from roadways, a sign of a bad litter habit still not shaken by Hall County residents and visitors.

Last week, Reed continued efforts to secure funding with a visit to Gainesville City Council on Tuesday.

The council, as it begins preparing for its upcoming budget decisions, requests organizations that receive city funds update it on their progress and budget proposals.

In the past, Keep Hall Beautiful has partnered with the city and Hall County governments. City Councilman George Wangemann is secretary for the organization's board; its co-presidents are Hall County Resource Director Rick Foote and Gainesville Solid Waste Director Dan Owen.

This year, Reed will request the same contributions from the governments that they gave last year: $15,000 from the city and $110,438 from the county. The group may also ask for contributions from the cities of Flowery Branch and Oakwood.

The organization's total proposed budget is $184,458.

"I believe we give a lot of service for the money we get," Reed said.

The budget largely covers personnel costs of three full-time and one part-time staff members who oversee volunteer efforts, perform administrative duties and visit schools to educate children on the environment.

Educating children, Reed said, is the key to better habits across the county.

Reed tells stories of parents who report to her that their children become household enforcers of good recycling practices.

Aside from education, most of the organization's manpower for beautification projects comes from volunteers and community service workers who are putting in hours to meet probation.

"We think you're doing a great job," said Mayor Danny Dunagan after Reed's report.

The organization's chief fundraiser, the Spring Chicken Festival, with Georgia's official Chicken Cook-off, is scheduled for April 28.


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