Post-Indy 500 cleanup offers opportunity for charity, community


The Indy 500 may be over, but traditions surrounding the race continue with the cleaning of the trash.

Thousands of spectators on race day means tons of trash the day after, but dozens of groups can't wait to turn others' trash into their treasure.

"We have mission trips, camps and youth activities that kids can make money for, and parents can come out and make money for," said Paul Corlew with Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Cornerstone's youth group isn't new to this type of manual labor. This was their seventh year performing the coveted task and they operated as a well oiled-machine.

Volunteers found all manner of trash in the remains, from a reclining lawn chair and drink cooler to the far more disgusting - including a water bottle filled with urine.

"It's disgusting," said Sunnie Clark, a student at Franklin Central High School. "And I don't think I've ever seen so much beer. And then everything falls on you and it makes you kind of wet and it's not attractive."

But the payoff far outweighs the hassles of the clean-up. Logan Lockett with Cornerstone Baptist earned money for his upcoming mission trip and Sunnie Clark along with other members of Franklin Central's show choir also picked up a paycheck -- along with a big boost in morale.

"It's nice to help because it's hard to think one janitor does all this by themselves," Clark said.

The 25 groups that get to clean up make anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000 for less than a day's work. There's a two-year waiting list to get the gig.