Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Used Pontoon Boats - LAKE OF THE OZARKS Shoreline volunteer Honored
The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for AmerenUE's Adopt-the-Shoreline program was presented to Louis DeVries, who has helped haul more than 35 tons of trash and debris from the lake since 1996. Photo courtesy AmerenUE
Hi gang, Rick here from Used Pontoon Boats with news from the boating industry.
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Louis DeVries has hauled 35 tons of trash and debris from a 13-mile stretch of shoreline between Linn Creek and Race Track coves since 1996.
DeVries was honored this week as AmerenUE's Adopt-the-Shoreline Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.
The award is highly coveted among the die-hards who get out every spring, and sometimes in the fall, to keep the lake's shoreline pristine. They haul out pontoon boats, barges and shovels to do their part for the lake. Nothing deters these hardy souls.
Over the years, he's recruited neighbors to volunteer and when he had to, paid helpers out of his own pocket. These days, he has a pretty good crew to help out.
Ask him how long he's been doing the shoreline cleanup and his response is a quick, 'as long as I can remember.' And at 78, he says he has no intention of slowing down. At least not yet. He plans to have his crew ready by April 19 to tackle their 13 miles of shoreline.
DeVries and his wife Janet have owned and operated the Creel Resort at the 28.5-mile marker since 1982. Today, the family-style resort is still open for seasonal rentals. The resort has eight cabins and slips for more than 20 boats. Although there's plenty to keep DeVries busy around the resort, he always seems to find time to help out.
According to his neighbors, Ron and Lanell Hagar, he was able to recruit them in 1999. For several years the three of them did the work of cleaning more than 13 miles of shoreline.
'Most years we completely filled two large dumpsters with foam and debris,' they said. 'The last two years Louis was able to recruit more helpers and last year Doc Pushers provided a boat and barge, which was a great addition to the cleanup efforts. With a dozen volunteers we completed our cleanup in record time. This came at a good time as Louis's old pontoon work boat finally had too many holes in the tanks and had to be retired.'
He's hauled a lot of old, soggy dock foam and trash off the lake and has stumbled across some unusual junk along the way. The most unusual was an old safe that he found lying on the bank.
'Someone had beat us to it,' he joked. 'There was a hole cut in the back of it.'
This year's theme for the annual dinner to recognize volunteers and kick start the shoreline cleanup was a play on the popular Survivor games with the theme 'out work, out clean and out haul.'
DeVries and his team will definitely be some tough competition for other crews when the spring cleanup officially gets underway April 1.
Thanks to Joyce L. Miller at lakesunleader.com
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