SARTELL - WJON’s All-Star Student of the Week had a few choices in mind when brain storming for her confirmation community service project. Maddie O’Rourke and her mentor, Cindy Fitzthum, talked it over, and landed on wanting to help the environment in their city.

Maddie with her confirmation mentor, Cindy Fitzthum. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

O'Rourke says, "We kind of jotted down a couple ideas for me to do, and I just thought that this one would be the most fun because we could like get outside, and get other youth involved with it. Cindy and I kind of wanted to go big I guess."

Fitzthum says they wanted to think outside of the box when deciding on O'Rourke's confirmation community service project.

"We started thinking about some things to do with the humane society, Anne Marie's Domestic Violence shelter," says Fitzthum, "then we talked about the environment, and focusing on Sartell since that's where we both live, and so therefore we narrowed it down to the city park clean-up." 

O'Rourke says, "I have always kind of wanted to do something like this, and just go help out my community by picking up trash. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to set up something like that." 

O’Rourke and Fitzthum started organizing the event, and even met with Sartell City leaders to make the plans. The city of Sartell will be providing all of the supplies, and even helped with advertising for the event.

Just very behind us in this initiative,so a lot of support from the city of Sartell, and just really fun to work with, especially when Maddie and I have gone to meet with them at 8:00 a.m. in the morning to discuss it. - Cindy Fitzthum 

The City Park Clean-Up will begin at Lions Community Park in Sartell. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

The City Park Clean-Up will be on Saturday April 18th from 9:00 a.m. through noon. It will begin at the Lions Community Park across from Sartell City Hall. From there volunteers will be distributed to other parks in Sartell. O’Rourke says anyone can help. She has had a lot of volunteers sign up to help so far, but they are looking for as many volunteers as they can get.

"I didn't think it was going to turn out this way," says O'Rourke, "but then I'm so happy that other people are doing this with me and just happy that people want to be a part of it."

Fitzthum says, "Maddie has just done a great job with social media, and getting the other ninth graders, and the other high school and middle school students at Sartell involved with this." 

All of the supplies will be provided for the clean-up, as well as a breakfast for the volunteers. O’Rourke and Fitzthum are hoping to make this an annual event.

If you would like to volunteer with the City Parks Clean-Up you can contact Maddie by emailing her for more information at

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