On Monday morning, many people were embracing a relaxing day off following Sunday’s Independence Day celebration. But that wasn’t the case for Lea King-Badyna.
Instead of sleeping in, she was heading up Keep Golden Isles Beautiful’s July 5th Beach Sweep along the shores of St. Simons Island. The previous day, the hotspot played host to thousands of revealers celebrating the occasion, which of course, meant a good deal of trash also made its way to the beach. Plenty of that was not removed when the day ended.
But as the executive director of the nonprofit, King-Badyna had assembled a team of volunteers eager to remedy the situation.
“The second annual July 5th Beach Sweep was a great success with 73 volunteers working to remove litter from the St. Simons beach, parking lots and crossovers. This year 450 pounds of litter, all the more impressive because it was mostly tiny pieces of plastic and fireworks debris, was collected,” she said.
“County staff had been on site for several hours removing debris before our volunteers arrived. This cleanup in particular is important to remove fireworks debris, even though fireworks are not allowed on Glynn County beaches, there is always debris to remove from illegal nighttime celebratory activity.”
While annual cleanups are part of KGIB programming, they are not the only initiative the group spearheads. It’s also responsible for organizing programs aimed at litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, community greening, water resource awareness and educational efforts.
Naturally, all of those efforts take funding and as a nonprofit, that means creating events to help is also part of King-Badnya’s job description. A few years ago, she along with her team and board, came up with the idea of a Community Jubilee. Traditionally, held in February, it offers a fun-filled night for food and frivolity for the cause.
“This is the sixth year for the Community Jubilee in this form, but the up/recycled artwork auction was incorporated into another event two years prior. The Community Jubilee began as a fun way of raising much needed funds for KGIB community betterment projects and efforts,” she said.
This year, the soiree will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. July 18 at the Tree Bar at Bennie’s Red Barn, 5514 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island. It will return to its February date in 2022.
Local band Backbeat Boulevard will perform and southern barbecue will be served up. A raffle and cash bar will be available. There will also be auction items up for grabs. In fact, the auction has already gone live online.
“The Up/Recycled Art (and more) silent auction has always been a focal point of the Community Jubilee, where folks bid on one-of-a-kind amazing up and recycled works of art and pieces. In keeping with our sustainability mission, talented artisans donate their upcycled and recycled art creations and we are able to offer fabulous and unique items,” King-Badnya said.
It will be available until 8 p.m. July 18, and anyone is welcome to go online to place bids. A link to the auction can be found on KGIB’s web page,www.kgib.org/events.
Tickets are $30 and are available at Pane in the Glass on St. Simons Island and KGIB’s offices, 1229 Newcastle St., Brunswick. They are also being sold by KGIB board members and will be offered at the door.
All of the funds raised will go right back into KGIB’s coffers to help with their programming.
“As a 501C3 educational volunteer nonprofit, we rely on donations and fundraisers to not only operate Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, but to fund local litter prevention, community greening and community betterment projects, efforts and initiatives,” she said.
“All funds raised stay locally in the Golden Isles. Since 1979, KGIB has been serving the Golden Isles, and the Community Jubilee ensures that these very efforts continue.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Keep Golden Isles Beautiful at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-279-1490.