Gadsden State wins statewide award for clean-up project

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CUTLINE: Gadsden State received the $1,000 prize during an awards luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery. Pictured from left are Andy Britton, director of Public Affairs and Communications for Coca-Cola UNITED; Vanessa Cothran, a recent graduate who spearheaded the Don’t Drop It on Alabama project; Lynn Patterson, director of Student Activities; David Patterson, vice chancellor of Adult Education, Special Projects and System Initiatives for the Alabama Community College System; Misti Morgan, administrative assistant in Student Services; Angela Tillis, an advisor in  Student Support Services at Gadsden State; Jennifer Buchanan, administrative assistant in Student Services; Spencer Ryan, executive vice president of Alabama PALS; and Ricky Tillis, director of Gadsden State’s Valley Street Campus.


Gadsden State Community College was recognized by Coca-Cola UNITED during the annual Alabama PALS awards ceremony. The College was recognized in November in Montgomery for its Don’t Drop It on Alabama project.

“I’m so proud of all of our students who participated in the project,” said Lynn Patterson, director of Student Activities at Gadsden State. “It was amazing how many students showed up to clean-up and beautify our campuses.”

During the Don’t Drop It on Alabama event, student groups competed in cleaning up campuses and areas around the campuses in Etowah and Calhoun counties. As a result, they collected more than 800 pounds of litter, which earned them the Campus Clean-up Scholarship worth $1,000.

“The project was really an initiative spearheaded by Vanessa Cothran, who was a student at the time,” Patterson said. “She had the idea to add a competitive aspect to the clean-up campaign. Once it became a competition, the students wouldn’t stop cleaning. All of the student groups wanted to win.”

Student Support Services prevailed in the competition. Second place went to the Lady Cardinals Basketball Team with third place going to the Men’s Tennis Team. The winners received gift bags that included Gadsden State swag and a year’s worth of laundry detergent.

Coca-Cola UNITED is a longtime partner of Alabama PALS, a statewide organization dedicated to making the state more beautiful by sponsoring programs focused on cleaning up litter in Alabama’s streets, streams, campuses and coastlines. Through education and annual anti-littering campaigns, Alabama PALS has partnered with Alabama counties, cities, communities, schools and other organizations to enhance the Alabama environment by preventing littering and picking up litter.

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