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Members clean stadium to send Scouts to Jamboree

Bob and Yvonne Wood had just finished a one-year mission in Detroit and were on vacation in Cape Cod July 14 when they answered the call for help.

Members of the Hingham Massachusetts Stake collect garbage following a professional soccer game.
Members of the Hingham Massachusetts Stake collect garbage following a professional soccer game. Photo: Photo by Mark Small

Their son-in-law, Richard Kruger, of Randolf, Mass., heard that volunteers were needed to help with the cleanup of the Foxboro Stadium after the professional soccer game played that evening and invited his family to help.

"We love doing service," Sister Wood said.

After an hour drive to the stadium, the Woods, along with family members from Georgia and Utah, joined more than 30 other Church members and others from the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in picking up and throwing away cups, napkins, papers, food and other items left in the bleachers.

This was the last of three stadium clean-ups used to help area Boy Scouts raise funds to attend the National Jamboree this year.

"We had a good time," Sister Wood said. It took just over an hour to clean up from the approximately 6,000 fans who showed up for the New England Revolution soccer game. "We were expecting it to last much longer."

Thirty-seven pairs of hands moved the cleanup along quickly that night. "That's the big thing. You have to have at least 20-25 people," said Paul Civitarese of the Foxboro Ward. He said they've generally had 35-40 people help.

Cleaning Foxboro Stadium, home of the NFL New England Patriots, has become a regular project for the wards in the Hingham stake.

Doug Precourt, Scoutmaster for the Hingham stake's Jamboree troop, said the Franklin and Foxboro wards have been using this fund-raiser for some time. The effort has been "very successful," he said.

The stadium works with many area non-profit groups to organize cleaning service projects. The stadium, which holds up to 60,000 people, will typically see 10,000-15,000 people at the soccer games, London said. "It's worked out great for us."

Two weeks earlier, lightning and rain forced the stadium to cancel the soccer game. The weather didn't deter some members, however. Mike Bassett, a member of the Cape Cod Ward drove an hour to help. "It wasn't raining when I left," he said.

He didn't mind the time spent that night. He just wanted to make sure that all the boys who wanted to go to the Jamboree would be able to go. "A lot of our folks are scraping by . . . and it's tough," he said.

Because there are age limits on who can help with the project, and since the money from these three clean-ups has gone to Boy Scouts, those providing the service often do not receive any direct benefit.

Alan Nickerson of the West Bridgewater 1st Ward, has no sons in Scouting. He just came to support the boys who were going. "This is where the grown-ups definitely have to come in and support [the Scouts]," he said.

Joe Giles of the Foxboro Ward has one child. "I love picking up garbage," he said. "I just learned to love picking up garbage."

For others, this was just a great opportunity to get out and do some good. "Mike (Bassett) called me and said, 'Hey, how would you like to go out tonight?' '"said Geoffrey Goldberg of the Cape Cod Ward. He said it is always fun to get out and do service.

"These are the people who are always there," Sister Clements said. "A good portion of our ward came for one boy," she said. "It was a positive experience for everyone."

And, although it was not on their itinerary when they came to Massachusetts, the Woods were glad they came. "We had a good time," Brother Wood said.

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