Dozens of high school students clean up Churchill Downs to raise funds for school sports
Now that the most exciting two minutes in sports is over, there’s plenty of evidence people had a good time even in the rain
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) – Now that the most exciting two minutes in sports is over, there’s plenty of evidence that people had a good time, even in the rain.
The mess that litters the infield where tens of thousands of people stood just hours earlier is a common sight the day after Derby.
Early Sunday morning, dozens of students from Atherton, North Hardin, Bullitt East and Fairdale High Schools grabbed gloves at the track and went to work.
“It’s really fun because we are together so early in the morning that it is really a bonding experience since we only see each other after school or after games,” Fairdale student Jenna Fox said.
The cleanup is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year for the students. The money raised will be used to buy new uniforms and equipment.
“I think they get a lot of gratification from it because they get a chance to do something for other than themselves. They get the chance to help as a group,” Atherton Football Coach Kenneth Walker said.
Saturday’s 144th running of the Derby was the wettest on record, leaving plenty of mud which may have lessened the amount of trash.
“[Trash] is a little less due to the rain yesterday so I don’t think there is as many people here because it was just so bad,” Walker said.
Coolers, cans, a small mountain of collapsible chairs, and even once-pristine derby hats all found and picked up in this temporary garbage graveyard.
“It’s just amazing how much people go through stuff. It is really eye-opening,” Fox said.
Dumpsters were brought in and garbage trucks packed and crunched the dozens of trash bags tossed in.
This was the 9th year the teams took part in the cleanup, and the largest task wasn’t too big to tackle. The entire infield was cleaned up in a few hours.
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