The family of Jerry Trotter Jr. would like to thank our amazing community for the outpouring of love and support during the loss of our beloved brother. We have received so many cards, letters, phone calls, and kind thoughts from dear friends and family that we are forever thankful for. “Thank you” doesn’t seem like enough, but we are so grateful to know Jerry was and is loved beyond measure by so many.

We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Ron Black and the Ladies Aid at the Willapa Methodist Church, Stoller’s Mortuary and the Menlo Cemetery for their assistance in our time of need and to everyone who donated monetarily and donated food, flowers and their time for our celebration of life.

The remaining money from the GoFundMe account will be used to fund the first annual Jerry Trotter Jr. Memorial Scholarship. With love and appreciation,

Trotter Family


July 5th, 2018 Community Beach Cleanup Wrap-up!

Volunteers started the cleanup July 5th with each dumpster nearly full!

HUGE thanks to the many volunteers who handed out bags at all the major beach approaches on the 4th. This sure seems to have made a difference once again!

For our fifth July cleanup in a row, we added sunscreen to the list of items volunteers should bring, along with layered clothes, thick-soled shoes and gloves. The sunshine is always welcomed and helped encourage about 600 volunteers to take to the beach to clean it up!

This was our 51st cleanup in 17 years, with over 395 tons collected during that time! We are happy with that achievement but then sad to think about all the materials that had to be picked up and knowing how much we’ve missed that got buried by the wind or pulled back out to sea by the tides. We all know that there are many reasons why the cleanups are such a huge success, most importantly because the community owns it. There is no cleanup crew; it is all of us, the entire community. Many, many people play their unique, integral role in making it all come together and we are forever grateful to all who pitch in!

We know there was plenty of debris this cleanup, as there always is for the 5th — 16.63 tons in total. All seven 30-yard dumpsters were just about full when the cleanup started so they were removed and more dumpsters were brought out the morning of the 5th. Those were mostly filled by the end of that day.

There’s a lot to be said about this last beach cleanup, so I’ll just concentrate on thanking our amazing community of volunteers!

A VERY special thanks to the volunteers who gave up a part of their 4th to hand out bags to thousands of visitors entering our beach. First, to Magen Michaud for taking the entire project on — Woot! And to the volunteers, many of them first-timers: Kathy Freitas, Joe Freitas, Paul Lee, Patti Lee, Barbara Norcross-Renner, Vicki Vanneman, Virginia Spurkland, Debbie Moggio, Lina Moggio, Jerry Macy, Sally Macy, Dianne Fuller, Anne Curran, Nick Michaud, Magen Michaud, Jim Ferrier, Jackie Ferrier, Barbara Norcross-Renner, and Nancy McAllister. If there are any we forgot — my thanks goes out to you, too!

We can never offer enough thanks to those several businesses and organizations that contribute to our cleanups on a regular basis: Jack’s Country Store, Long Beach Coffee Roasters, Diamond espresso and Metro espresso, Okie’s Thriftway Market and Cottage Bakery.

Awareness is key to encourage volunteers to come and help keep our beach clean, so our extra-special thanks to those businesses who advertised the cleanup in print, on their reader boards, or displayed our banners: City of Long Beach, Chinook Observer, Bank of the Pacific, Raymond Federal Bank, Peninsula Sr. Activity Center, Sid’s Market, Box K Automotive and Ocean Park Elementary. Our huge thanks to Joe and Kathy Freitas who make that all happen. And to Brandon, Russ, Cheri and Kenny for distributing posters too!

And as always, our everlasting gratitude to the dozens of key volunteers who have continued to come and clean, as well as the many who organize, develop newsletters, write articles, set up, clean up, make amazing signs, put up those signs, connect with the reader board businesses, make phone calls, answer emails, drive their trucks and collect bags, ham radio operators (who give us the ability to communicate with one another during each event), and to you all! Thank you!

To the truck brigade, ham’s, our adopt-a-beach groups and approach coordinators — thank you for your ongoing commitment, enthusiasm and caring.

This cleanup’s groups included the daily north-end crew, Ted Magnuson and friends, Schroeders and Lorentes, Friends of WNWR, our local Scouts, Lesley Ferguson and family, The Breakers.

Our approach coordinators this cleanup included: Frank Wolfe and Kathleen Sayce, Mike and Dee Snyder, Larry and Mary Cook, Magen Michaud, Kelly Rupp and Bev Arnoldy, Tina Koonce, Karen and Debbie King and Susi Dawson.

Volunteer trucks were Russ Lewis, Nick Michaud, Lynn Hoyt, Janelle Hux, Ken Grover, Geoffrey Morse, Tom and Margaret O’Neal and Henry Reinke.

Ham radio operators this cleanup were Jim King, Bob Cline, Mike Carmel, Bob Frink, John Landry, John Williams, Steve Linhart, Mark Clemmens, Ed Archer, Steve Fiala, Martin Halvorsen, and Kathleen Sayce.

Everyone enjoyed filling up with delicious pea soup, chili dogs and clam chowder after all their hard work. The soup feed was as wonderful as always; we so appreciate the talent of our soup-crafters Rita Nicely, Gayle Borchard and Susan Clark. Many thanks to Dianne for organizing the soup feed event as well as our thanks to the Peninsula Sr. Activity Center for sharing their space and the Shoalwater Birders, Sue Staples and Rita Nicely for helping with setup, serving and cleanup!

It takes a village. That’s what so many volunteers at this cleanup noticed. They saw so many visible parts of this community that participate, like: “beach friendly fourth” fliers in many merchant bags; the Ocean Park parade float; the park rangers and sheriff deputies doing a great job of patrolling; the beach approach “baggers” that handed out bags; the fire department tending hot fire pits; the beach approach coordinators giving volunteers directions; the truck brigade picking up filled bags and large objects; the dumpsters and the people managing them as they filled; businesses’ donations; the soup feed group and, most important, the participation of the revelers, many of whom tried to clean their site or pile the “gross stuff”. While they couldn’t see the making of the INVISIBLE infrastructure, coordinators and communications people, they knew it was “well organized”! Even better news, volunteers appreciated the friendly environment created around this community effort.

We had many first-timers. Some came from Tri-Cities and Everett and Eugene and Portland. Most thought the fireworks were beautiful but this beach community pays the price: a lot of garbage. The old-timers thought otherwise: “not bad compared to a weekend 4th.” We had some individual “early birds” lightening the load for the rest of us who came along. One volunteer from Everett, WA works for a financial insurance company that gives each employee 8 hours of “volunteer time” per year. This year he chose the Peninsula and our cleanup. He got out there at 6:30 and drove 7 miles, collecting the “large items” that would be hard for walking collectors. He filled his car up multiple times and appreciated the dumpsters.

Several others mentioned getting an early start. Russ Lewis, our faithful beachcomber, went out at 5:30 to locate and stake all still-active fire pits. If you saw the stakes near a pit with some orange spray paint at the stake top, that was Russ’s work. At 9:30 the fire department drenched those staked pits and then removed any debris from them. Some adopt-a-beach groups went out early as well.

Another interesting group that joined us this year was grade school kids from Ocean Park. Two busloads arrived at Seaview approach with their own bags and gloves, accompanied by many adults. Hats off to Ellen Fisher who organized this event as part of the Ocean Park School District’s summer program. Make note — those grade schoolers will soon be our Peninsula teenagers. What a perfect time to teach them about the responsibility that accompanies fun with fireworks.

A set of keys was found and turned over to law enforcement. Now back to Russ Lewis. In the wee hours of the morning he found a cell phone in the sand because it had a music ring-tone playing. He picked it up, couldn’t figure out how to open it or stop the music. The phone kept singing, Russ gave up and put it in the back of his truck — apparently not his favorite ring tone! — until he came across a young couple. The phone continued to sing. The couple couldn’t open it, either. Then a guy came along who got it open. The music finally stopped. The owner was contacted, Russ got the phone to Cranberry approach for pickup. It takes a village.

We should have had a contest for the longest time spent at one launch site. I spent an hour and a half at one picking up Saturn Missile Battery slender, black, spent shells. But I didn’t win. One near Seaview spent 2 hours at one large fire pit trying to gather all of the broken beer bottle glass. A long-time volunteer at Oysterville approach spent 2 hours collecting Saturn Missile Battery shells and “at least 200 bottle rocket containers” and spent sparkler wires.

Are the revelers aware of the mess they leave behind? For many, I don’t think so. Case in point. While collecting, I noticed a young man purposely drive to the launch site, get out of a pickup with a garbage bag and start collecting. I had a hunch so I asked if he had used the site. With his “yes,” I asked if I could show him something. I opened my bag to a bottom filled with those spent shells. He was astonished. Then he told me they bought one 200-shot, one 300-shot and two 25-shot batteries. That’s a grand total of 550 spent shells airborne to about a 75-foot radius around the launch site. He apologized and said any remaining was his job. If people knew, I don’t think most would buy Saturn Missile Batteries. He never will again. Educate, educate, educate!

Several interesting suggestions popped up. Get some 4-wheelers or trucks to patrol the beach during daylight hours on July 4th to collect filled garbage bags. That could remove some of the party mess prior to the nighttime fireworks. Second suggestion: always have the Community Beach Cleanup marchers and float be at the end of the Ocean Park 4th of July Parade. “It sent a good message home.” While that just happened this year, we get the point and could possibly ask for that position in the future.

One guy talked about his experience on the 4th. He decided he wanted to see some of the beach action so he drove himself to the beach in his pickup. He was an older guy parked beside an Hispanic family that was barbecuing. Before he knew it, they handed him a hamburger, a hot dog and a Coke while telling him in Spanish that “we are community.” Indeed, a village!

What a difference each pair of hands made toward our clean beach. I personally knew of some of the volunteers who helped after the 5th but not all of you beautiful souls! We hope everyone who participated enjoyed themselves and felt a great sense of satisfaction and connection to this community and beach.

My apologies to those I’ve missed, and I know I’ve missed some important efforts. Please know that we couldn’t have had nearly the success without you. My thanks to everyone for doing all you’ve done and will do to keep our beaches and waters clean, safer for the birds, wildlife and us!

Want to get involved? PLEASE email or leave a message at the office 360-642-0033.

Shelly Pollock

Beach Cleanup Organizer

The GrassRoots Garbage Gang is a 501c3 not-for-profit group that cleans up the Peninsula beaches in South Pacific County, Washington. Each January, April and July hundreds of volunteers clean the Peninsula’s 25-mile beach.

Support comes from incredible volunteers, local businesses, City of Long Beach, Marine Resource Committee, Washington State Parks, NOAA and many others. For more information visit


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