The Maryhill and Ariss Lions Club is holding a bottle and can drive next weekend to raise funds for children’s cancer treatment. It’s the second year for the event.
This year, proceeds will go to Scotland’s Yard, a new initiative from the Grand River Hospital Foundation to raise funds for a children’s cancer centre in Waterloo Region. The organization is incrementally working toward raising $50 million over ten years.
The campaign begins with more manageable milestones, such as obtaining a PET CT machine, linear accelerator, nuclear medicine spectrometer and other specific pediatric-care equipment. Longer-term goals include a care lodge for families and endowment funds for family expenses while going through cancer treatment, and to support medications and treatments not regularly covered through provincial healthcare programs.
Last year, the Maryhill and Ariss Lions Club donated the bottle drive money to the children’s cancer unit at McMaster Hospital. This time around, a member heard about the local initiative and brought it forward.
“We thought it was a good idea, and we wanted to help out locally,” said Raymond Bolton, an organizer of the drive.
People can drop off their empty alcohol cans and bottles at the Maryhill community centre between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 22. The club can also arrange for pickup if needed.
Bolton said many of the Lions Club members know a family with a child dealing with cancer, adding to the incentive to collect bottles and cans – “as many as we can.”
Bolton says it would be helpful for people to count the cans, put them in clear plastic bags and write the number of cans on the bags so that they don’t have to open them and recount them. To be extra helpful, people can remove the aluminum tabs from the cans and send them separately, as Bolton takes those to the Elora Lions Club, which still collects the tabs to go toward making wheelchairs.
Bolton also collects cans and bottles throughout the year and donates these funds to the cause. He welcomes contact from businesses or other people in the community who would be interested in donating their cans and bottles. He would like to see bottles and cans collected year round for the cause.
Bolton, who can be reached at 519-261-1850, encourages everyone to get involved, noting it’s a simple thing to do for the community.
“You’ll be helping a child when you do this,” he said.