In May 2015, Josh Ausmus noticed a pile of stinking trash along the James River in Greene County, Missouri. He cleaned it up, putting the trash in his car, and got permission to put the trash in a city dumpster in Springfield, Missouri. Many people appreciated this. Mr. Ausmus said, “People have been trying to give me free stuff, buy me a steak and beer or a slice of pizza. And I got thanked a lot. I just hope it opened a conversation about responsibility.” In June 2015, the Greene County Commissioners presented him with a Good Citizenship Award. Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin told Mr. Ausmus, “I want to shake your hand. This goes beyond the call of duty, and we love seeing this and you are very deserving of this certificate.” Josh’s father, Rick Ausmus, said, “I’m absolutely proud of him. He’s always been a very clean kid. His car always stays clean inside. And he always kept his room clean.” After his clean-up job, Josh Ausmus had to hose out his car. He said, “I have a big bag of cedar chips in there now. It seems to help with the smell.” This is the text of his Good Citizenship Award:
“WHEREAS, on Friday, May 22, 2015 Josh Ausmus went to the James River to enjoy its scenic beauty; and
“WHEREAS, instead of viewing the beauty he had come to enjoy, he was confronted with a stinking pile of refuse dumped by an unknown person or persons; and
“WHEREAS, Josh went through the refuse in an effort to find some identifier as to who the refuse might belong to; and
“WHEREAS, that effort did not reveal any identifier of the refuse, Josh did not turn away and leave the mess to get washed away and pollute the James River; and
“WHEREAS, Josh collected the ‘stinking mess’ and placed it in his Ford Explorer; and
“WHEREAS, Josh then found a location willing to accept the material and placed it in a dumpster to be disposed of appropriately.
“NOW, THEREFORE, The County Commission of Greene County, Missouri wishes to voice appreciation for demonstrating such outstanding responsibility, initiative and concern for the environment.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and caused to be affixed the seal of the County of Greene, Springfield, Missouri, this 15th day of June in the year of our Lord 2015.
“THE GREENE COUNTY COMMISSION”
For More Information: Wes Johnson, “Trash hero’s good deed gets noticed by Greene County.” Springfield News-Leader (Springfield, Missouri). 15 June 2015
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