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'Butt Lady of Auburn' picks up 2,000,000th butt | NorCal Strong

One woman's never-ending mission to clean up Auburn, one cigarette butt at a time.

AUBURN, Calif. — The people who make Northern California Strong are those who inspire us and make our communities a great place to live. ABC10 wants to highlight their strength by recognizing what they do. This week we want to introduce you to the Butt Lady of Auburn.

June 9, 2021, was a major milestone for one of Auburn's most recognizable local celebrities. Sally Dawley is her real name but everyone in Auburn knows her as “The Butt Lady.” Since 2014, Dawley has been picking up cigarette butts all over town and after 7 years, she’s picked up 2,000,000 cigarette butts.   

Dawley has a passion for keeping her town clean. The retired bus driver started picking up butts on her daily walk, but her efforts go beyond cleanliness. 

“Of course, I want to get the message out to smokers not to throw them but often times birds will eat them and feed them in their nest and poison their kids when they hatch and also dogs eat them,” said Dawley.

Every day Dawley drives her 1986 Ford pickup truck to go on “Butt Patrol” at shopping plazas, businesses and Mel’s Diner, where she often gets rewarded for her efforts.

“I tell them how many I’ve picked up and they give me a free milkshake,” said Dawley.

The city of Auburn has just over 14,000 people but you would be surprised at how many butts Dawley picks up daily. She keeps very accurate records that date back to the day she picked up her first butt. 

“Once there was 10 days in a row where I picked up over 3,000 butts,” says Dawley.

The residents of Auburn love the Butt Lady so much that when her truck was in the mechanic shop residents rallied together and gave her a gently used van so she could get around. After 2 million butts, Dawley says she is won’t quit until the smokers in Auburn quit. 

“I think I might have to go to a “butts' anonymous class” to get me to stop picking them up,” says Dawley.

Sally Dawley is NorCal Strong. If you want to nominate a strong Northern Californian send a text (916) 321-3310 and put NorCal Strong in the text. Feel free to send pictures and or web links in the submission. 

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