CANTON, OH (July 22, 2009) - Walmart, the City of Canton, and the Canton Regional Chamber ofcommunity_cleanupCommerce Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival are collaborating to showcase Canton pride by cleaning up three key areas during the week of July 27, 2009, just prior to the start of the annual Enshrinement Festival activities that put Canton in the national spotlight.

The "Clean-Up Canton" project will support sustainability while educating area citizens - especially Stark County youth - and giving them hands-on experience about how they can do their part to save and protect the environment.

"Walmart is a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunity, with a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally. We know we can make the greatest impact on our communities by supporting causes that are important to our customers right in their own neighborhoods, and this project is a great example of how we can be a positive force in the community," said Jason Wetzel, senior manager of public affairs for Walmart.

"We're proud to be a 'store of the community' for all of the areas we serve by helping to provide financial and volunteer support to more than 100,000 charitable and community-focused organizations, and by using our locations to provide opportunities for our customers and associates to give back," noted Vanessa Mason, market merchandiser for Walmart.

Mayor William Healy II emphasized that strong neighborhoods are essential to safe communities. "We are committed to making Canton a city where people want to live, work and raise a family," said Healy. "It is our goal to instill a sense of pride and ownership in Canton's neighborhoods by investing in public infrastructure, creating home rehabilitation programs, and awarding grants to neighborhood associations. This 'Clean-Up Canton' project is a perfect fit to help meet this goal," concluded Healy.

The three designated sites for this specific project and the dates for the clean up are as follows:

  • • Monday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Southeast Community Center and Crenshaw Park area bordered by 11th Street SE to the north, Robin Court SE to the west, Warner Road to the east, and Elden Circle to the south. This effort is in conjunction with AAA Basketball, Inc.
  • • Tuesday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Boys and Girls Club of Canton area including the Aultman Hospital area.
  • • Wednesday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Downtown Canton on Cleveland Avenue from Sixth Street S to 12th Street N, and on Market Avenue from West Tuscarawas to 12th Street N. This effort is in conjunction with the Canton Development Partnership.

Project partners will collaborate to offer support in a variety of ways, including:

  • • Walmart will donate project tools and supplies as well as engage Walmart associates to assist with supervision.
  • • The City of Canton will provide trash pick-up as needed and summer youth corps participants and supervisors.
  • • Enshrinement Festival department of the Chamber will provide volunteers and incentives for participants.

While the focus is on youth participation, adults are welcome and encouraged to join this volunteer effort. Incentives will be guaranteed to the first 100 people to participate at each of the three locations, in the form of a souvenir t-shirt with the reminder that You're Not Cool Unless You're Cleanin,' and four (4) free tickets to the Timken Grand Parade on Saturday, August 8. Additionally, through the support of Walmart, a donation will be made to the community organizations spearheading the efforts in each of the defined areas.

"We certainly want our community in tip-top shape during the ten days of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, as it is our annual opportunity to shine in the national spotlight and showcase our outstanding community to thousand and thousands of visitors who travel here for the festivities," said Joanne Murray, Enshrinement Festival director. "However, we all agree that it's just as important to take individual and collective pride in our community on a year-round basis," added Murray.

"While clean-up day activities are timed to coincide with the fast-approaching Enshrinement Festival activities, all of us hope this project will be a springboard to encourage our citizenry to keep Canton clean all year long through grassroots efforts within the neighborhoods and business districts," said Dennis P. Saunier, president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.