Bear Creek cleanup group needs 500 votes for $500
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 14:46

Long enters Bear Creek in bank contest

by Ben Boehl

    Volunteer and non-profit groups are always looking for ways to pay for their expenses.
    Clean Bread and Cheese Creek founder John Long saw that PNC Bank was rewarding local neighborhoods with funding of up to $500 for projects that make their communities stronger, so he entered the contest.
    “I’m very grateful for the opportunity from PNC,” Long said. “With the (down) economy, we are not getting the donations that we used to receive, so this would help us with the supplies we need.”

    Long and his group hold cleanups of numerous waterways in the Dundalk area, and he wants to focus on Bear Creek from the Bear Creek Elementary School to the waters that lead to Gen. John Stricker Middle School.
    He said he plans to start a cleaning project in the spring and entered the name  “Cleanup Historic Bear Creek” (CHBC) into the PNC contest.
    “We plan to mobilize the community and local schools to assist with the cleanup of the Historic Bear Creek,” said a statement from CHBC on the PNC site.
    “Several communities surround this creek, which was once a beautiful area used for fishing, swimming and recreation, but neglect and pollution has taken its toll on this wonderful area. Bear Creek is also on the Star-Spangled Banner Trail for the war of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration and was used by the British to send landing boats full of troops for the Battle of North Point on Sept. 12, 1814.”
    Although CHBC is one of 100 groups in the contest, each group has individual goals.
    If CHBC can get 500 votes or more by Sept. 15, it will receive $500 from PNC. If the group has 499 votes or less at the deadline, they will be shut out.
    “We need 500 votes to win $500. If we receive less than this amount of votes, we don’t receive anything,” Long said. “It is not really a competition. Each group that has been selected has to get their votes. So there could be 100 winners.”
    CHBC was one of 1,000 groups to enter the contest, and they made the cut to the final 100.
    If CHBC meets its goal of 500 votes, the group has plans for the $500.
    Long said he would use $100 each for trash cans, snacks and drinks, toilet rental and newspaper advertising, and would spend $25 each for gloves, first aid kits, insect repellent, biodegradable soap and materials to make event signs.
    Votes for the cleanup project can be cast at
    “We have over 1,000 [Facebook] friends,” Long said.
    “I understand that people are busy and forget, so I’m reminding them everyday to go and vote.”
    CHBC had 172 votes as of Tuesday morning. To vote for CHBC, visit