In Sept. 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
This Saturday marks the 20th annual Lake Cumberland Clean-up along the lake's big shoreline, according to Steve Syphax, president of the Friends of Lake Cumberland.
Volunteers and concerned citizens are invited to help clean up trash, old tires, appliances and the like from the shore.
"We look forward to doing this every year," Syphax said. "We've got 20 full-time members with Friends that spend a lot of time on this each year."
Syphax said he envisions around 600 participants this Saturday, based on previous years' numbers.
Participants and groups should check in on the Saturday at 9 a.m. EDT or 9 a.m. CDT at one of the following locations: Lake Cumberland State Dock Ramp, Cave Springs Marina, Grider Hill Dock, Conley Bottom Marina, Waitsboro Recreation Area and General Burnside Island State Park.
Syphax said after the clean-up, volunteers are invited to a free appreciation cookout with door prizes at either Lake Cumberland State Park at 3 p.m. CDT or General Burnside Island at 3 p.m. EDT. Prize money is also slated to be given away at the picnics following the actual clean-up.
The yearly event is a costly venture, according to Syphax. Last year the event cost around $11,000 to put on.
"People wonder how it costs that much but just a dumpster to rent and empty is $500, plus we have to rent boats and pay for group rewards," he said. "There are all types of financial obligations."
Syphax said that last year's clean-up left Friend of Lake Cumberland $500 in the hole. With the economic situation not any brighter this year, he said it has become even more difficult to obtain funds this year.
"We just went to one houseboat manufacturer who told us they have been laying off workers and just didn't have the money to donate this year and they wished us the best," he said.
Syphax said this year the Friends would be going to the County Judge-Executive's office in Russell, Pulaski and Wayne counties and asking for donations this year, something they haven't resorted to in the past.
"We've got enough funds to keep us going for a while but we don't want to be in a situation where we have none," he said.
He also said the Friends of Lake Cumberland was a visible presence at this year's Lake Cumberland Grand Prix, raffling items and selling t-shirts, as well as cleaning up after the event and will clean up after the upcoming houseboat show at State Dock.
"We will also work the Lake Cumberland Grand Prix next spring on the other side of the lake," he said.
Syphax, who is originally from Cincinnati, said many involved in the Friends of Lake Cumberland are not originally from the area but came here after retirement.
"We will also be having a membership drive in Pulaski County in October," he said.
Syphax said the many dedicated individuals get a lot done on Lake Cumberland Clean-up day. He estimated that the event has helped to clean up around 90,000 bags of trash and more than 18,000 tires in the two decades of its existence.
"We want to help keep the lake the way it is," he said. "It is an unbelievable tourism force here and we have to be creative in how we manage it."
For more information, please contact Steve Syphax at 606-451-1402.