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Volunteers with Serve Santa Maria clean-up Regal Edwards Movie Theater

Posted at 10:45 PM, Sep 26, 2020

Nearly 40 community members came out to the city's Regal Edwards Movie Theater to volunteer with Serve Santa Maria on Saturday.

Cleanup efforts began at 8 a.m. after a prayer to bless the theater.

Volunteers cleaned up weeds and picked up trash while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

The organizer of Serve Santa Maria, Pastor Carl Nielsen, says he hopes to help local businesses like the theater that have faced closures during the pandemic.

"There's a lot of people who are still anxious and fearful about this COVID-19 and if we work together and give hope and encouragement to others, we can still function well in this setting. I think my hope is that all of what we're doing can give encouragement to others," Nielson said.

A city spokesman says the event follows Santa Barbara County's Reopening in a Safe Environment, or RISE, guide.