Written By: Daniel Warnecke 17′

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Parades are always something to look forward to, and the Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont certainly excites and lives up to expectations! The floats are elaborately decorated, and there is an enormous amount of candy given out—the perfect parade combination. This amount of excitement brings in huge crowds every year, and every year one BIG aspect of the parade is overlooked: trash build-up. The accumulation of more trash at public events that bring in large crowds is just something that happens—and that’s okay.

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The excitement of a parade makes it that much easier to forget about candy wrappers or plastic bags that plummet to the ground. One has to understand the unfortunate reality that parades bring in a lot of people that have and create a lot of trash, so it’s great to know that Castleton University students stepped up to the plate to do something about the extra trash this year. On the morning following the Rutland Halloween Parade, the streets that once held masses of people the night before were now full of roaming students, equipped with rubber gloves, trash bags, and smiles, of course. The students were simply picking up all of the trash that had been left behind from the night before, and although the trash did not seem to be too prevalent on the streets while driving on them, the 11 large, stuffed bags of trash that were accumulated at the conclusion of the cleanup painted a much different picture.

Simple cleanup events and community service projects may not seem to make too much of a difference up front, but they truly play a huge role in exciting the public, influencing them to make a difference within their communities. Public community service is like a “positive” disease; it serves as a reminder that we all have a duty to do our part—even if “entitlement” leads to thinking differently. I, myself, have been involved with the Castleton University Rotaract Club for four years now, and being a member within the club is emotionally rewarding, constantly reminding me that there is always need within our community and our world, and there always will be. I get to make a difference through community service, free of charge—something that continues to amaze me to this day.

Thank you to the members of the Castleton University Student Government Association, the Rotaract Club, the Castleton Community Service House, and the members of the Rutland Young Professionals group. Your constant service to your local communities does not go unnoticed, and because of your services, others continue to be reminded of their duties in this life. Who would have thought that picking up a few candy wrappers and trampled float decorations would prove to be so important?

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