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  • Elaine Berberich

The Road Gang is the Grand Marshal for the 27th Annual FHPOA Christmas Parade.




Every year, the FHPOA Christmas Parade committee selects The Grand Marshal to march in the parade. For Fairfield Harbour, the Grand Marshal represents a person who gives back to the community in a positive way and makes our lives brighter.


This year, for the 27th Annual Christmas Parade, the parade committee selected The Road Gang Committee as the Grand Marshal. As you drive on Broad Creek Road, you often see The Road Gang in yellow or orange jackets collecting trash from the roadsides and keeping our roads clean. These are volunteers working with the Road Gang from Fairfield Harbour. The group has existed for over 25 years, serving the community by keeping the roadways clean.

Dick Steward has been in charge of the Road Gang for over five years and helps manage schedules. New members and communication with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Bill Wilson has been a Road Gang volunteer for 26 years.


Congratulations to all the 26 members of the Road Gang, and thank you for your service!

To read more about the Road Gang and its members, keep reading Elaine Berberich’s article from the November 2023 issue of the Beacon.


 

The Road Gang Rides Again!

A reprint from the November 2023 Beacon by Elaine Berberich

Susan McCrocklin on an early morning collection. Everyone remember to not litter!.jpeg

As you drive on Broad Creek Road, you can often see people in yellow or orange jackets collecting trash from the roadsides and keeping our roads clean. These usually are volunteers working with the Road Gang from Fairfield Harbour. The group has existed for over 25 years, serving the community by keeping the roadways clean.


The assigned areas are on Broad Creek Road from Hwy 55 to the Harbour entrance, which is done monthly, and the section in Fairfield Harbour is done weekly. The Fairfield Harbour “Road Gang” is by far the most active in the state and covers a distance of seven miles, which is more than any other group In North Carolina. The hard work and dedication of the members make driving into Fairfield Harbour a pleasure because of the well-kept roadsides.


Why would anyone want to collect trash when there is so much else to spend your time on in this beautiful community? The group recently met for pizza and drinks and to hand out awards. They answered some questions about their work and even played a few “trash” games. As expected, there were jokester answers such as getting all the glory, getting rich with found money or a winning lottery ticket, or finding golf balls. Most answered that they wanted to keep our community beautiful and feel like it is a way to give back. Cindy and Jim Scalion have been here since 2007 and immediately joined the Road Gang because “we couldn’t stand to see all the trash”! Kate Castle kept an inventory of a recent day collecting and found over 20 beer cans, 15 alcohol nips, several losing lottery tickets, a wide assortment of plastic bags, and parts of an animal. Kate pointed out that the gang is not composed of “spring chickens,” and many members in their 70s and 80s can be found crawling around looking for that elusive piece of trash treasure. Along with Joan Campbell, Pat Sager has been a member and leader of both the Road Gang and the Craven County Sweep. She said, “Without the Road Gang, I have no idea what Broad Creek would look like.”


Joan Campbell and Pat Sager have worked together for many years

Dick Steward has been in charge of the Road Gang for over five years and helps manage schedules. New members and communication with the Department of Transportation (DOT).


Road Gang members enjoying playing games with their trash pickers

He presented the “Golden Trash Picker” award to Donna Calliari. Recently, a car fire in Donna's assigned section left a large burn mark and many car parts embedded when it was removed. An investigation found the towing agency should have done the cleanup. Not satisfied to wait, Donna took shovel and rake to the area herself. This example illustrates how most of our folks take ownership of their section.


Deb Rothengast was given an award for all of her work with publicity and recruiting new members. The Road Gang currently has about 40 volunteers, and slots are often open due to vacations, illnesses, and relocations. Ron Boyce was given the “Atta, Boy” reward because he always keeps busy picking up trash.


The night’s highlight was an award given to Bill Wilson from the Fairfield Harbour community for his service. Bill has been a Road Gang volunteer for 26 years. He recalled changes over the years in this organization that have helped keep Fairfield Harbour a beautiful and clean place to live.


Road Gang members enjoying each other away from trash

How exactly does the Road Gang work? The seven miles are divided into 32 sections, and different members care for their section. You can see markings on the poles on Broad Creek, which show the different sections. Time commitment can be as little as 1-2 hours per month.

Why become involved with this organization? Many members stressed that our environment belongs to all of us and we have a responsibility to make our surroundings beautiful.


Everyone may not join the Road Gang but can help by picking up their own trash. Imagine what would happen if everyone took five minutes to pick up trash they might see along the road, as well as actively practicing recycling and trash maintenance in their own home and neighborhood? Getting rid of the attitude “it’s not my job” and picking up trash can make a world of difference. All you have to do to join this organization is by contacting Dick Steward at 252-633-0670. There are no dues, but you will have the thanks of the community and your neighbors around you.


Marsha and Ed Werneke and Jim and Cindy Scallion enjoying an evening with the Road Gang




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