Over the weekend the Downtown Spokane Business Improvement District’s Clean Team assisted volunteers in cleaning the Abraham Lincoln statue located at Main Ave and Monroe Street, which was vandalized on Thanksgiving Day. It took two days to completely clean the statue, which was doused with red paint. The volunteers came from the Spokane-based branch of SERVPRO, a fire and water cleanup and restoration franchise headquartered in Tennessee.
Jess Hockett, SERVPRO’s Northwest marketing manager, spearheaded the volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of his organization after hearing word of the vandalization on the news. “We just wanted to do our part and help our community,” he said. Hockett reached out to the City of Spokane to coordinate a plan for the cleanup and was put in touch with Clean Team Director, Karen Fritz.
On Friday, Hockett, a crew of three, and the Clean Team, performed an initial power wash of the statue. A coating of paint remover was applied and on Saturday morning the paint was fully power-washed and scrubbed, leaving the statue in a restored and unspoiled condition. Additional paint that was splattered on the sidewalks near the statue was also removed by the Clean Team.
SERVPRO provided many of their own cleaning supplies in tending to the statue, but relied on the Clean Team to provide water for the power washer via a tank on the back of DSP’s “Gator”, a four-wheeled utility vehicle.
Year-round, the Clean Team services the downtown core six days a week, over 9,000 hours a year, collecting garbage bags, removing graffiti, snow and ice, and maintaining downtown’s green spaces and public sidewalks. “The fact [SERVPRO] stepped up for our community is great,” said Fritz. “Volunteering for this task was definitely a big help for our team.” SERVPRO has remained in contact with the City of Spokane and the Clean Team, and has already offered their expertise for more challenging cleanup projects in the future, should the need arise.