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Eastern Idaho communities embrace Operation Facelift

The winning cities of a month-long contest among eastern Idaho communities were announced Thursday.

Operation Facelift had the cities working on beautification projects all around the area.

Pocatello and Dubois tied for the win, but for the people who worked so hard, and the people who the makeovers helped, there’s still a great feeling of victory and pride in Idaho Falls.

Operation Facelift kicked off with enthusiasm on June 11 in Idaho Falls. But what was supposed to be an 11-day project spearheaded by Grow Idaho Falls shows no signs of stopping.

“There was a lot of work that went into all the buildings,” said Tami Sherwood, who works for Grow Idaho Falls. “It just feeds off of itself.”

The city-on-city competition had its winners, but there were definitely no losers.

“Things are very much improving because of the facelift program,” said Gary Draper, co-owner of the Joshua D. Smith Foundation building, which was dubbed “most improved” in Idaho Falls.

Draper got his hands dirty, joining the volunteers on his own building.

“We were appreciative that they would come out here and do this for us,” Draper said. “We wanted to be proactive and be involved.”

Then there is David McKinney, director of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, who dedicates his life to helping people, getting a little help rejuvenating the City of Refuge building.

“This was really wonderful for us to have the community come in and paint our facility and give us new signage and really spruce it up. It makes our resources go further,” McKinney said.

And finally, there are the mom-and-pop business owners at Work It Scrubz, grateful for the community’s help in repainting their building.

“We’re saving money any way we can. And that really helped us,” said Jacob Hirschi, who owns Work It Scrubz with his wife.

“It makes their day brighter,” said Draper of the beautification projects. “When the environment’s good for your working environment, then you’ve got happier people.”

Some ideas are already in the works for next year’s facelift, including a mural contest to decorate the wall behind the Joshua D. Smith Foundation building.

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