Hundreds of teens gather in Junction for church projects

Troy Allred of Rangley was one of 450 teens doing service projects this weekend in Grand Junction. All were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Above, Troy helps clean up Watson Island along the Colorado River.

Among the items picked up Saturday on Watson Island were the more expected ones such as empty beer bottles and pieces of plastic, but the several dozen teenagers donating their time to collect trash also made some interesting finds: a nearly empty bottle of cinnamon whiskey filled with ants, a tire and a discarded inflatable raft.

More than 450 teenagers from across the Western Slope — nearly 50 were at Watson Island off the Colorado Riverfront Trail — scattered throughout Grand Junction in brightly colored T-shirts as part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ National Service Day.

The youth did yard work, picked up trash and cleaned bleacher seats because, as organizer Stephanie Sherman joked, “No training is required” for those tasks.

“We just do it for fun and to serve,” Sherman added.

The opportunity to serve is something Parachute’s Cara Young, 17, enjoys.

“I like service projects,” she said.

Young teamed up with Grand Junction’s Whitney Riordan, 16, and Ashley Carleton, 14, to throw trash in large garbage bags at Watson Island.

The trio had never met before Saturday.

The hundreds of teenagers were split among Watson Island, Canyon View Park, Stocker Stadium and area cemeteries before reuniting for a dinner and dance Saturday night.


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