Cumberland Mayor Challenges Residents to "Get Your Hands Dirty"

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As released to the Cumberland Times-News, WCBC Radio, Go-106/WFRB/WTBO, WDYK/Magic/WQZK, April 29, 2011


Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim has issued a challenge to every Cumberland resident.  “The City of Cumberland is crying out for citizens to step up, take the lead, and make a difference.  And that’s precisely what I’m challenging every citizen to do,” said Grim.

Grim has named his effort to clean up Cumberland, the “Mayor’s Challenge,” asking citizens to “get your hands dirty cleaning up Cumberland.”  Grim has launched the effort, effective May 1 through August 30, asking everybody who lives, works or goes to school in Cumberland, including every Cumberland resident, to volunteer 25 hours during the summer months, on beautification projects in the city.

“On the weekend of April 23, Boy Scout Troop 9 and Scout Masters Stephen Nelson and John Chapman set the bar with a cleanup of the Greene Street hillside across from Dollar General.  That challenge only cost them a few hours, but makes a tremendous difference in that neighborhood,” said Grim.

The first effort that the Mayor encourages citizens to sign up for and participate in is the upcoming Cumberland Day of Caring and Sharing. The event, which is scheduled for May 20, is sponsored by the Allegany County United Way. Volunteers are needed for the effort which features organized clean-up and beautification projects in every Cumberland neighborhood.  Signing up for the event is as easy as calling the United Way office at 301-722-2700.  “I’m asking every Cumberland business to take this challenge by participating in the Day of Caring and Sharing by giving your employees the morning off, with pay, to join in this citywide effort,” said Grim.

The Mayor has also indicated that other beautification projects are also being considered and efforts to coordinate with local businesses, property owners, and corporate stakeholders such as CSX are underway.  “We need citizens to step forward and take charge of needed clean-up efforts in their own neighborhoods, but we’re also working on larger efforts like a revitalization and painting of the Virginia Avenue underpass,” said Grim.  Volunteers are also needed to join with neighborhood associations to assist with already planned clean-up efforts.

Volunteers who take Grim’s “Mayor’s Challenge” are entitled to a free t-shirt, according to Grim.  “People who want to help can visit to sign up, tell what you have done to make a difference, even submit photos of your efforts, and earn a t-shirt for giving 25 hours to making an impact in Cumberland.”  The Mayor also stated that the individual who volunteers the most hours in four months will receive a special recognition.

Donations from businesses and individuals who support the “Mayor’s Challenge” are also being accepted, to cover the cost of recognitions for volunteers.  Full details about donating or signing up for the challenge are available online at

“It’s time for us all to get our hands dirty.  We’re all in this together and only if we work together as one community can we reshape and revitalize our city.  Government is not the answer to all of our problems and that’s why I’m calling on everybody to join me in doing the hard work that it takes to transform Cumberland’s image.”