On a cold and rainy Saturday in November, more than 150 community members came out for the first Tri-Taylor Community Super Hero Saturday neighborhood cleanup. With rakes, brooms, shovels and garbage bags, participants fanned throughout the community to pick up trash and leave it at alleys for pick up by the city, working from Congress to Roosevelt, and Ogden past Campbell.

Headquartered at the Washington Irving Elementary School, the group rallied at 8:00 am with Alderman Jason Ervin among the speakers and enjoyed coffee donated by Dark Matter coffee and sweet rolls donated by Mariano’s. Then they doffed their foul weather gear and gamely headed out to their assigned territories.

The rakes, shovels, and brooms that we used were on loan from Chicago’s 28th Ward Department of Streets & Sanitation. Lowe’s Wicker Park donated buckets and work gloves. Generous donations came from the area including Alonti Catering, Corey Black, Bacci Pizza, Chicago Eats, Classic Barber Shop, Chicago Police Districts 11 and 12, Costco Wholesale, Dominic Deleo, Dope Chick Gang Salon, Ferrara Bakery, Jarabe Mexican Street Food, Ryhana’s Cuisine, The Slide Ride and Slide Bar, Smiling Sole, Linda Tiffen-Mascorrro, DDS, The Flower Shop of Chicago, The UPS Store on Taylor, and Walgreens. Christ Disciples Baptist Church brought a big team of volunteers and also set up refreshment stations with water and fruit for volunteers.

We even made it on TV! CBS2 aired a segment on the event Saturday evening and again in the Sunday morning news. They were fascinated that “caped crusaders” were still willing to come out and work, in the rain. They called and asked: “Are you still going out there? Are people really wearing capes?” The answer: “Absolutely,” and they came. It was great to see such positive coverage of our community.

Dayna Eubanks Stinson, who co-chaired the event, said “We are so excited that so many volunteers stepped up like Super Heroes, despite the rain. We are grateful – building bridges and strengthening ties with the support of our Tri-Taylor businesses, Washington Irving and area schools, churches and residents; from retirees to students and young families. We’re picking up trash, sweeping, raking leaves, whacking weeds and working to ensure our neighborhood is clean and safe. This is Super Hero Saturday, and they are true Super Heroes. We are Tri-Taylor proud!”