Dover, NH – A typical Saturday morning for SIX03 Endurance includes; run, bike, swim. However, this Saturday, several SIX03 members traded in their running shoes for work boots and the day ended up more like; rake, mulch, sweep. Eighteen members (or 19 if you count 6-month old Hazel Mae) volunteered their time and energy in the 12th annual Dover Pride Cleanup Day, sponsored by Dover Main Street.
The day began with a pancake breakfast in the Cocheco Mills Courtyard, donated by the Dover Kiwanis Club. Local volunteer groups included the Dover Police Department, Dover Fire Department, The Boy Scouts of America, and several others. Following breakfast, Dover Public Works provided rakes, shovels, wheel barrows, and work gloves to the volunteers. Each group was assigned a specific site in the downtown area. SIX03 headed to the Orchard Street parking lot to get to work.
First, we removed all the trash from the flower beds along Central Avenue and Orchard Street. We then raked, shoveled, and pulled dead foliage, plants, and old mulch from the flower beds. The day went by smoothly thanks to veteran Dover Pride Cleanup Day volunteer and high-five extraordinaire, Jeff Harrington. Jeff had volunteered at this event before and helped coordinate with City officials. When we needed more brooms, Jeff got them. When we needed more mulch, Jeff got it. When we needed high-fives, Jeff gave them. His positive attitude and friendly character got the volunteers through, what would’ve been a seemingly arduous task, with smiles on their faces.
Although the City provided some equipment to the volunteers, SIX03 had such a large showing that we needed more tools. The Zarbo’s stepped up and made a trip back to the homestead to grab more tools. Andrew and Catherine’s love for gardening and landscaping was noticeable as they made their way through the bushes and mulch with ease, making sure not one spot was left untouched. Andrew also would have swept the entire Orchard Street parking lot if time permitted.
SIX03 member, Matt Verbiscus took advantage of the wheelbarrow offered by the City and brought mulch over to all the volunteers working along the Orchard Street flower beds. Verbiscus commented that being in charge of the wheelbarrow brought back memories to his days growing up on a farm in Michigan. “This is so much fun,” he said, as he made his 100th-or- so trek back from the community mulch pile. “If anyone else needs help with their lawn or garden, let me know”, he exclaimed with his signature ear-to-ear grin.
SIX03 newbies, Kim Sekera, Kim Vousboukis-Surawski, and Glenn Swanson also pitched in and didn’t seem to take a break at all. These three started working right from the get go and didn’t stop until lunch time. Kim Sekera was very meticulous, making sure no mulch got on the sidewalks, and also took some time to reorganize the bricks along a walkway. She also brought along her three daughters, who were not only great landscapers and gardeners, but amazing babysitters as well. Kim’s daughters kept Hazel entertained throughout the 4 hour day. Kim Vousboukis-Surawski worked non-stop, grabbing the broom or the rake whenever it was needed. After working hard in the morning sun, Kim headed home to see her son off to the Prom. After cleaning and beautifying the assigned area of Orchard Street, Glenn started making her way to other areas in need of attention. Glenn helped Jeff spread some mulch along the tree line and near other businesses. Glenn, a Portsmouth pub-runner, may have to come by a Dover pub run sometime to admire her work.
SIX03 veterans, Elizabeth and Artie Boutin solidified their “always here and always ready to help” volunteer status by once again taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community. The Boutin’s are known for their generosity and willingness to work for nothing (or the promise of a free beer or two). Artie and Elizabeth had other obligations throughout the morning, but made sure to get down and dirty with the rest of the SIX03 volunteers in between obligations. Whether it was raking, pulling weeds, or holding a baby, the Boutin’s were there to help.
Known for their “SIX03 Podcast with host Rob Lipinski” interview, the Billert Twins showed up just as expected. They were wearing shorts and looked like they were ready for a road race. After a short discussion with Verbiscus about what was expected of them (remember, Verbiscus had significant mid-west farm experience), Alex and Kalin chose to change into more appropriate gardening and working attire. The speed and energy at which these two managed to maintain was unmatched, however. At times, Verbiscus was seen wiping his brow in defeat just trying to keep up with the twins. Following the cleanup day, Alex and Kalin went for a long run while Verbiscus napped under a shady tree.
SIX03 originals, Karla Martin Riese and Roxanne Monmaney also worked with amazing energy. The only time that they stopped working was to hold Hazel or give Jeff a high-five. Karla and Roxanne’s attention to detail was also apparent, as they swept every bit of sand that they could find into tiny little piles to be picked up by the city. Between Karla, Roxanne, Glenn, and Andrew, not one spec of dirt was left on the roadway.
After the cleanup was done and the Orchard Street lot was as beautiful as we could get it (remember, most of the lot was under construction), Rex from the Dover Brickhouse invited us in for some refreshments. Rex and the Brickhouse staff were very accommodating, as they always are to the SIX03 family. Following that well deserved beverage (or two), some made their way back to the courtyard for pizza donated by Kendall Pond Pizza.
Overall, it was a very fun day; especially when the sun burned through the clouds and helped to shed some light on our hard work. The group of volunteers was a great mixture from the SIX03 family. From veterans to newbies, we all found time to meet each other and discuss pub runs, races, training, and all things fun to do in the 603. With one of the largest volunteer groups attending the cleanup day, SIX03 truly represented what we are all about; Fitness, Camaraderie, and Community.