A diamond ring among items found in Summit County cleanup | SummitDaily.com

A diamond ring among items found in Summit County cleanup

From left to right, Frisco residents RJ Vik, Ryan Cook and Jason Berman volunteered at Town Clean Up Day on Saturday, May 16, 2015, and the friends, dubbed Team Chaos, won the award for grossest item collected two years in a row.
Courtesy Jason Berman |

Of the hundreds of Summit County residents who took to streets, sidewalks, trails and parks on Saturday to beautify their towns, two volunteers found much more than trash.

Early on May 16, Susan Hill and Richard Solomon left their home in the Mesa Cortina neighborhood, received their gloves and trash bags from Town Clean Up Day organizers at Rainbow Park, and started picking up trash near the OfficeMax building.

They were behind the building, Hill said, when Solomon found a red purse.

The couple went through the bag and found a wallet, credit card, military ID with a Social Security number, even a blank check and receipt that showed a sizable amount in a bank account.

Then Solomon found something shiny.

“He says, ‘You want a wedding ring?’” Hill said. “It looked like a really pretty diamond ring, a really beautiful thing.”

The couple found an insurance card in the purse and called the company, which then connected Hill and Solomon with a woman who lives in Mississippi and had been visiting Silverthorne last week.

“She called, and she was so happy she was crying,” Hill said. “She said, ‘We’ve been praying about this. That ring means everything to me.’”

The woman told them she left her purse in her unlocked car for a few minutes near the Silverthorne Pavilion, and when she returned it had been stolen. The Silverthorne Police Department tried to help the woman find it, Hill said, and officer David Siderfin dug through nearby trash cans.

After winning the Clean Up Day award for most unusual item found, Hill and Solomon gave the purse and its contents to the police who will ensure they are returned to the Mississippi woman.

Silverthorne’s recreation coordinator Nancy Bomgardner snapped a photo of the couple with two representatives of the Outlets at Silverthorne, which provides the event’s prizes.

“We just thought that was such a great positive thing after something negative happened to someone in our community,” Bomgardner said. “It was just crazy.”

She said about 100 people volunteered at the Silverthorne event and collected 1,700 pounds of trash.


In Frisco, a group of friends dubbed Team Chaos won the town’s prize — a giftcard for free beer — for finding the grossest item at the town’s Clean Up Day for the second year in a row.

This year Frisco residents Jason Berman, 44-year-old mortgage originator, and Ryan Cook, a 35-year-old employee with the county’s noxious weed department, added a teammate, RJ Vik, and the trio found the grossest item, a pile of wet clothing, strewn along the banks of a stream near the Whole Foods.

Last year they won with a wet brown sweatshirt.

This year, the pile of clothing included some expensive brand names, but that didn’t thwart the ick factor.

“It definitely had an odor,” Berman said. “It began to ooze stuff.”

Berman said he hoped to inspire more people to volunteer next year to compete against Team Chaos.

Roughly 350 people helped spruce up Frisco on Saturday, said Nikki Moore, Frisco marketing and communications coordinator. Five town council members, Mayor Gary Wilkinson and town manager Bill Efting grilled burgers and hot dogs provided by Safeway, and Backcountry Brewery served free beer at the volunteer appreciation picnic.

In Breckenridge, town spokeswoman Kim Dykstra said 144 volunteers signed in Saturday morning. She added that the grill masters were excellent as well as emcee Jeff Bergeron and master greeter Jen McAtamney, and some locals stayed until 3 p.m. while the band Split Window played.

In Dillon, town events manager Matt Miano said the town was pleased with the turnout of roughly 50 people who ate every last morsel of food after a hard day’s work.

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