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‘Extreme makeover' - Earth Day edition

Tue April 24, 2007

By Alexa Jenner, West Chicago Press 

West Chicago, IL - As the warm weather set the mood for spring on Saturday, West Chicagoans gave their city a makeover. 

In an effort to help clean the environment and celebrate Earth Day, volunteers spent two hours cleaning up downtown. The event was sponsored and organized by U'SAgain LLC, a textile recycling company at 1600 Downs Drive, West Chicago.

"Our company aims to increase awareness about protecting our environment and we are glad that the city of West Chicago shares the same interest and supported us to organize a successful Earth Day cleanup," said Rasham Grewal, public relations specialist for U'SAgain and organizer of this event.

U'SAgain is a nationwide company that focuses on promoting awareness of the environment by transforming clothing and textiles into reusable and valuable products. Almost half of the clothes that U'SAgain recovers are reused as secondhand clothing, helping to clothe the world's poorest nations. From school contests to cleanup days like the one last weekend, U'SAgain participates in a variety of activities to educate about and promote recycling.

The West Chicago Earth Day celebration began at 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street.

U'SAgain presented Mayor Michael Kwasman with a T-shirt, and he, along with Alderman Greg Kauth and other city officials, helped volunteers in picking up garbage along Main Street.

The site on Main Street was chosen by U'SAgain after they consulted with the city. "Main Street is a great area to tackle because it represents the center of our downtown community, and with its proximity to Metra parking and the volume of activity it receives, it will probably stand to benefit greatly from a spring cleanup," said city museum director LuAnn Bombard.

Along with the 31 volunteers and seven children who enthusiastically participated in Saturday's event, local businesses provided their support. Starbucks, Dominos and Kindercare Learning Center provided refreshments during and after the event.

This was the first time U'SAgain has sponsored a cleanup in West Chicago, but they hope to make it an annual event.

"I think it was very successful," Grewal said. "And I would like to thank all the volunteers and participants who rolled up their sleeves and joined us for this special event."