Nearly $10,000 was raised for the Petrolia hospital through an empty bottle collection run by the local fire department.
That figure was “not at all” what they were expecting, Chief Jay Arns said Tuesday.
“When were first started talking, we were thinking maybe a quarter of that amount of money,” he said. “Definitely blew us out of the waters.”
The collection ran May 19-20 throughout the streets of Petrolia. Between 14 and 20 firefighters and support staff loaded trailers with empty beer and liquor containers and towed them back to their training centre. They were stored there in 40-foot shipping containers.
“We had two and a half of those filled up,” said Arns, chief of the Petrolia and North Enniskillen fire department. “It took us a long time to count these bottles and sort it all out.”
A group of volunteers helped count – more than 84,000 units were donated – sort and package them.
“We had a tremendous amount of support from volunteers,” he said
Once they were finished, three trucks picked up more than 50 pallets. The Beer Store cut them a cheque for $9,527.80, which was donated to the Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital Foundation.
Arns said the firefighters are “doing whatever we can” to help support the hospital.
“Petrolia has never been a community to step down from a challenge, and it’s plain to see that this is another example,” Mark Braet, the foundation’s treasurer, said in a statement. “Thank you for sharing your bottle returns with us, and we look forward to putting the dollars to good use for our renovations project.”
Arns also credited the community.
“The support from the community was incredible,” he said. “To give us that amount of support was fantastic.”