The number of children, youth and adults that gathered Thursday night for the annual Keep Polk Beautiful Banquet (KPB) evidenced this fact.
Executive Director Sharon Coffman, KPB, compared the local effort to how giant redwood trees survive by reaching out roots and intertwining to perform a web of strength.
"This community, like the giant redwoods, bond together in times of stress and need," she said. "Everyone can also rejoice in acts that represent the true American spirit."
Ira Epps, regional PSP strategist/regional leadership champion, Wal-Mart, also emphasized this point.
"It would take three to five planet earth to survive if everyone in the world lived like the people in the United States," he said. "It would take three to five planet earths to survive. We only have one and we need to take care of it."
He gave an in-depth talk about the Personal Sustainable Project (PSP), launched in 2007 by Associates at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The voluntary effort is based on a personal commitment for positive change.
Individuals asking, how can I make a difference, measure it?
Epps encouraged the capacity crowd at the Rockmart Community Center to start with one step to become a better person.
"By making that choice, we can make a better us and ultimately a better world," he added.
Linda Boggs also gave a humorous talk about her experiences planting 9 trees she received during the KPB's Arbor Day ceremonies on Feb. 20.
Although the weather was cold and everything was frozen, including the ground, Boggs detailed how she overcame obstacles to get her trees planted.
Her goal was accomplished despite a frozen water hose, a wheelbarrow with a flat tire, a broken shovel and many trips to fill a bucket.
"It was a small effort to replace the hundreds of trees destroyed by the tornado," she said. "Every tree we loved so much is gone. When the trees were felled, the birds and other wildlife disappeared."
A group of boys and girls from Cherokee Elementary directed by Janice Stewart, teacher, entertained with appropriate songs, including one about litter. She said the kids were studying about Going Green this semester and had learned about recycling and taking care of the world.
Ruby Griffith, KPB board member, gave comments praising the work of Coffman. In presented a "token of love check", she noted “Sharon has received the President’s Circle Award for 2006-2008. We are looking forward to 2009. She works tireless to get grants and garner support for what we do.”
Prior to the program, members of Boy Scout Troop 21 presented the flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Concluding the event, awards were presented to the following partners/supporters:
Polk County Board of Commissioners, City of Aragon, City of Rockmart, City of Cedartown, Aragon Historical Society, Tommy Engram, Productivity Signs,
Trim N Tint Signs, Johnson Printing, Aragon Florist, Rockmart Florist, Haney Farm and Ranch Supply, Cherokee Golf & Country Club, Jefferson Southern Corporation,
Perry Williams & Polk County Convenience Centers, Shepherd Tree & Sweeping Service, Inc., Cindy Haygood, Rolling Hills RC&D, Polk County Farm Bureau, Sherman Ross State Farm, Dranik Industries (Scott Kinard), Byron Slaughter, Polk County Chamber of Commerce,
Floyd County Emergency Management, Keep Rome /Floyd Beautiful, Mary Brewster, Randall Brazier, Polk County Code Enforcement, Joseph Martin, Cedartown Code Enforcement, Mike and Melody Tipton, Keep Cobb Beautiful- Gwen Baldwin, Ginger Watson,
Collard Valley Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Wesley Chapel AME Church, Rockmart, Zion Hill First Baptist, Morning Star Baptist, Church of Deliverance, Victory Baptist Church, Boy Scouts (Kim Smith),
Goodyear Beta Club (Kristie Hunt), Leslie Robinson, Northside Elementary School, Cherokee Elementary School, Westside Elementary School, Eastside Elementary School, Goodyear Elementary School,
Cedartown Middle School, Rockmart High School, Rockmart High School Kappa Pi Beta, CHS Key Club- Brenda Wilkerson,
RHS FBLA- Janet Dover, Westside Elementary Student Council, Eastside Elementary Junior Beta Club, Exchange Club (Martin West),
Cedartown Kiwanis Club, Rockmart Kiwanis Club, Pilot Club- Kim Mason, Cedartown Standard, Rockmart Journal, WGAA Radio, Rockmart/Aragon Optimist Club, City of Rockmart Parks and Recreation, City of Cedartown Parks and Recreation,
Mary Miller State Farm, Cedartown Wal-Mart, Rockmart Wal-Mart, Georgia Rails Into Trails Society (G.R.I.T.S.), Jay Donnell- Coca Cola, DeAnne Worthy: Dept. of Juvenile Justice, Dennis & Cheryl Waits,
Jim and Lynda Boggs, Ken Suffridge, Murphy Harpst- Vance Voinche, HON Company, Polk County EMA & Fire Dept., Polk County Police, Polk County Sheriff’s Dept. GA State Patrol,
Polk County EMS, Red Cross, Cedartown Dairy Queen, Chick-Fil-A Hiram, Waste Industries, GA Power, Byrne Landscape and Design, First National Bank of Polk County, Frankie Poteete, Kasey Cole, Kim Brumbelow, Georgia Forestry Commission and Boy Scouts of America Troup.