Beach Sweep 2009
Nov 11, 2009
Horry County beaches were quite crowded, but not with sunbathers.
Teams of volunteers – including a cadre of Grand Strand young professionals – scoured the shores in search of litter for the annual Beach Sweep trash cleanup on Sept. 26.
Dozens of members from gsSCENE, the Grand Strand’s largest social networking group for young professionals, joined scores of other volunteers at Myrtle Beach State Park.
About a ton of trash, including four bins of recyclables and 20,000 cigarette butts, were collected.
An old tire, a bra cup and an unopened six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade were among the oddball assortment of items volunteers removed from the shores, sand dunes and forests.
“It’s a really fun event and everybody in the group sees the positive impact of it,” said Kevin Cox, chairman of gsSCENE’s community service committee. “This event has a direct impact. It has instant gratification on the community and on the condition of the ecosystem.”
The sweep marked the second year gsSCENE has lent assistance to Beach Sweep, a Grand Strand event now in its 21st year.
In an economy heavily dependent on tourism, keeping the industry’s key resource – the beach – clean is vital, said Blakely Jenkins, membership and community programs manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of commerce and chamber liaison to gsSCENE.
“In some way shape or form, we all have jobs at the beach. Tourists come to Myrtle Beach because of the beach,” Jenkins said. “To keep it clean helps people to continue to come here so we can keep our jobs.”
In 2008, about 50 young professionals from gsSCENE donning gloves and carrying trash bags plucked several hundred pounds of garbage from the beach and sand dunes.
In coming months, gsSCENE has several other community service events lined up benefiting the Myrtle Beach Community Kitchen, Angelfood Ministries, Habitat for Humanity and Beerfest.
“gsSCENE really realizes that to be a better part of the community, you need to assist the community,” Cox said. “You’re doing something to help your fellow man. It gives you a sense of pride that you’re making strides in the community by doing this.”
Other upcoming events in November include: Morning Rush breakfast networking, Nov. 11; a wine tasting event at WineStyles on Nov. 12 and a community service project benefiting Angel Food Ministries on Nov. 21.