On Saturday, the months of planning for a group of 20, 8th grade students from Las Animas Jr./Sr. High School finally came to fruition with the Leap of Kindness Community Clean-Up Day.

The event started shortly after 10 a.m. with the group of students and other volunteers beginning the cleanup at the Southeast corner of the insertion of Carson Ave and 6th street. Executive director of the Bent County Development Foundation Sammie George who has helped lead this group of students in their efforts was one of the first on the scene.

“We got started, and people just kept showing up!” George said.

She continued to say that they had volunteers jumping in to help throughout the day which helped the day go quickly. They finished cleaning up that section of the street by 1 p.m. and she said people began taking the initiative to start cleaning up other areas around the intersection.

She mentioned that there were a number of people asking if this event would become a regular occurrence for the city. Overall the number of volunteers on the day was 57, and 21 people participated in the chalk art drawing contest.

The winners of the contest were Derek Flynn who took first, Mara Talmage who took second and Anna Talmage who took third. For their efforts they will receive bonus bucks provided by the chamber of commerce.

One takeaway from the event that George had was how people looked inspired by seeing what’s possible when the community comes together to do a couple hours of work.

“It was very exciting to see. I also think that the eighth grade class should be very proud of themselves for planning this awesome event that so many came and took part in,” she said.

jconlan@ljtdmail.com