Combining efforts

Volunteers take to the streets for annual FOD Walk

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Claudia Hamilton, 4, of Fort Dodge, hopes to find a piece of trash hiding somewhere in the bushes in downtown Fort Dodge during the annual FOD Walk Tuesday afternoon.

Claudia Hamilton, 4, of Fort Dodge, was determined to find some trash to pick up in downtown Fort Dodge Tuesday afternoon.

She even thought she might find some in a bush along North Eighth Street.

“I found strings,” Hamilton said.

She was helping her grandfather, Wayne Salgren, of Fort Dodge, during the 13th annual FOD Walk.

FOD stands for foreign object debris. It’s one afternoon a year where business leaders and community volunteers team up to help clean up the city.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
CJ Bio America employees look for trash to pick up along First Avenue South during the annual FOD Walk Tuesday afternoon. Pictured left to right: Andy Sheffield, Kyung Park, and Louis Kim.

The initiative was launched by Rhonda Chambers, chairwoman of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Image Committee, in 2006.

Other than strings, Salgren said he found “a lot of cigarette butts.”

Pop cans and pizza boxes were among other pieces of trash found nearby.

Salgren said it’s the second year he’s helped out.

“We live in the area,” he said. “We have a business in the area. We want to keep it clean and do our part.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Aubry Salgren, left, and Karlee Hamilton, 8, both of Fort Dodge, decided to scare some fellow FOD walkers during the annual downtown cleanup effort Tuesday afternoon.

Over on First Avenue North, Kathy Flannery and Lauren Hamilton, 11, were keeping their eyes peeled for debris.

“I found a cupcake foil,” Flannery said.

When asked how she got involved with the effort, Lauren Hamilton said, “My mom made me.”

“We didn’t give her a choice,” Flannery said.

“I do like helping out,” Lauren Hamilton said.

Flannery said the more volunteers, the better.

“If everyone does a little bit, it doesn’t take too much,” she said.

A trio of CJ Bio America employees were taking care of First Avenue South.

Andy Sheffield, of Fort Dodge, said the streets he had been on were fairly clean.

“Not a lot so far, which is good,” he said.

He said the volunteers’ efforts do make a difference.

“The small things — they add up,” he said.

The FOD Walk is organized by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.