By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An award ceremony in South Philadelphia Friday night honored city residents who have gone above and beyond to keep their neighborhoods clean.

There were over two dozen participants in this year’s annual Philadelphia More Beautiful Clean Block Contest.

“The blocks are given a two-week period to get ready to get judged,” explains Deputy Streets Commissioner Keith Warren, “and at that point we show up with a big bus, a group of people, and the judges walk the block, talk to the residents and evaluate them with scores.”

The blocks were judged over the last several months on organization, cleanliness, improvements and participation.

Winners were announced during the ceremony, but each block taking part walked away with a prize for making a difference.

“You hear people refer to blight conditions and they blame the city, the city, the city,” says Warren, “and I’m quick to remind people without residents participation, no matter how many services the government provides, we’ll never be able to keep the city as clean as we do.”

Stacey Thomas has lived in South Philadelphia her entire life, and has been a captain for the 1900 block of McClellan Street for over three decades.

“I make sure my neighbors understand the importance of recycling, the importance of keeping your property clean, maintained,” she says.

She says this contest is about being proud of where you live.

“That’s all it’s about,” she emphasizes. “My neighbors just came out and they showed our unity, care, concern and the beautification of it all.”

Her blocks theme this year…”Love Thy Neighbor.”