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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Stephens Elementary School third grader Lauren Edwards was selected as LMRA annual clean up T shirt design.

Ten years is a long time to keep anything going.

For 11 years now, Lake Martin Resource Association’s John Thompson has been partnering with staff at Stephens Elementary School to create memorable artwork for volunteer T shirts. Third grader Lauren Edwards’ image of herself in a boat with a fish and turtle in Lake Martin was selected from dozens of pieces of artwork created with the assistance of art teacher Debra Griffith to be featured on the shirts for the Nov. 5 and 6 annual LMRA cleanup.

“Y’all did a great job,” Thompson told the budding artists Wednesday morning. “When I walked in this room and saw all this great artwork, my eyes just popped open. I thought, ‘what a great bunch of artists we have here.’”

Thompson said the selection of a winner was difficult.

“Yours is right there with the best we ever had, y’all did a great job,” Thompson said. “It was tough to come up with the winner we used on the T shirt. We could have used any of them. Unfortunately we only had room for one of them.”

Edwards image is the 11th time a Stephens Elementary School student’s artwork has graced a shirt for the cleanup and Thompson had a special presentation for the school.

“We have had 10 years of artwork and we are going to present a quilt to the school that has all 10 years of shirts in it,” Thompson said. “Doing this for 10 years is special. The quilt is great. I can look and I remember every one of them.”

Griffith said she is trying to present all of the students' work.

“We are going to try to do an art show,” Thompson said. “We want to show them all off.”

Thompson was pleased to see so many of the students putting themselves in scenes free of litter or cleaning up around Lake Martin.

“We are happy to know you love Lake Martin and we hope you help us keep it clean,” Thompson said. “We need to make sure the litter is picked up. Everytime you see a piece of litter, pick it up. Call your parents attention to it.”

Thompson encouraged the students to take part in the annual cleanup Nov. 5 and 6.

“Get your parents and come down to Wind Creek (State Park),” Thompson said. “We will make pickers available and let you go through the park and pick up to help keep it clean.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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