Volunteers Sweep Away Winter At Clean-Up

By Danny Schrafel

dschrafel@longislandergroup.com

 

Volunteers are ready to get their hands dirty Sunday morning before the eighth annual Huntington Station Happy Helpers Earth Day clean-up of Huntington Station. (Photo/Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter)

Volunteers are ready to get their hands dirty Sunday morning before the eighth annual Huntington Station Happy Helpers Earth Day clean-up of Huntington Station. (Photo/Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter)

With trowels and gloves, brooms, bags and leaf blowers, dozens of volunteers teamed up Sunday morning to do some spring cleaning in Huntington Station.

It’s all part of the seventh annual Earth Day clean-up, an event organized by the Huntington Station Happy Helpers.

Young Violet Palacios shows off her handiwork after a day of pitching in. (Photo/Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter)

Young Violet Palacios shows off her handiwork after a day of pitching in. (Photo/Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter)

The Helpers were started in 2008 by co-founders Heather Carino and Dr. Lehti Laas, both of Huntington Station. They were then joined by the Friends of the Huntington Station Latin Quarter the following year. New this year came assistance from the Huntington Matters community watch organization; members of the Suffolk County Police Department Explorers squad also contributed to the effort.

“It’s nice to see the Huntington community is coming out,” Laas said.

Volunteers sweep their way with brooms of all sizes to a cleaner downtown Huntington Station.

Volunteers sweep their way with brooms of all sizes to a cleaner downtown Huntington Station.

The cleanup began as a tribute to Laas’ mother, Carmen Ramos Laas, for whom the corner of Pulaski Road and Route 110 is dedicated. The cleanup started at that corner and headed up to the train station along New York Avenue.

In addition to the Earth Day cleanup, the Happy Helpers celebrate United Nations’ International Day of Peace in September by planting perennial bulbs; all of the bulb flowers seen along New York Avenue were planted by the Happy Helpers. Those should start sprouting any day now, Carino said.

“We wanted to bring some positive awareness to the community and show some caring by beautifying the surroundings,” she said.