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Sam's Spotlight: Make It Count

You may have read or heard that Winnsboro was named the “Cleanest City” in Louisiana. I want to celebrate this win by making it the spotlight this week. The Louisiana Garden Club Federation (LGCF) named Winnsboro the state winner in its category on May 7th, after already winning the district competition. This past Friday I was able to attend the award presentation. What a huge accomplishment for our town and representation of our community! I was beaming with pride at the presentation when LGCF judges presented Mayor Dumas with the award and thanked everyone involved in making this award possible. I learned so much from that presentation; I was reminded that we also won this award in 2019 and we are in line for another special recognition award if we win three years in a row. We must make it count this year and all do our part to win again next year.

I have mentioned to you that my background is in marketing, so instantly my marketing brain kicked in as I thought, I need to spotlight this because what better way to market our town than to talk about our accomplishments! Let me be clear, I was not familiar nor was I involved with helping to win this award. I was simply there to show my support and appreciation to all the people who contributed to the success of winning. I did a little research after the ceremony because I was interested in the process for this competition. All I can say is wow, it made me even more proud after reading the entry form requirements.

For those of you like me who may be unfamiliar with what goes into this competition, I will share a few things I gathered from the LGCF website. In 1958, the LGCF was first among members of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. to sponsor a statewide “Cleanest City Contest.” The aim of the contest is to instill civic pride in the individual citizens and thus, improve the appearance of towns and cities. Each year competition has become stronger, and the cities and towns have achieved higher and higher standards of cleanliness. The LGCF points with pride to the many participating communities through the years – and to the ever-increasing number who work year-round to keep their communities clean and beautiful. Three judges rate each city according to its population and cleanliness. Judges look for ten litter categories. Cities should keep a record of procedures used in conducting the Cleanest City Contest. This is the Book of Evidence. Things to be included in the book are “Before and After Pictures”, work done in the town, any materials which may be helpful to the judges. This book also shows the judges our community participation. I was able to view our book from this year and it was very well done. I had no idea the amount of effort, both physical and technical, that went into this process. (Source:

I hope you find this information interesting, and I hope it makes you beam with pride as I did. This is no small feat that the town takes on; it is a large one and it takes so much work. The judges said that it was an awfully close competition, but Winnsboro ultimately had taken notice of even the smallest details that ultimately got us the victory. These types of things are important to economic development as well. If we want people to visit our town, our parish, we must work hard to make sure it is worth visiting. We must make it count! I encourage you to help this committee, these volunteers, the town workers, and all who are involved, as well as myself as I work to promote our community - do your part whether it is to pick up trash, volunteer to clean up on a Saturday, just be active and participate. Together we can continue to win the state’s cleanest city, to promote our achievements, and continue making our community awesome!

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight!

Sam Sheppard

Franklin Parish Economic Development Coordinator


Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! @franklinparish.econdev

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