The first bottle and can donations started showing up early Saturday morning for the third Tillsonburg Lions Club bottle drive.
“We weren’t even fully set up yet,” said Lion Blair Oatman. “Right at 8.”
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The last donation arrived just as they were taking down their awning shelter at 2 p.m. in the parking lot behind Avondale United Church.
In just six hours nearly three quarters of their trailer had filled.
“There’s a lot of cans. But there’s also a lot of wine and liquor bottles. I’m quite surprised as far as beer bottles, empty cases of beer bottles, because there’s not that many in there.”
Overall donations on Saturday might have been a bit less than last New Year, but they would only know after returning them for recycling.
“Maybe not quite as much,” said Oatman. “Last year we had a really good turnout. But it’s really hard to tell, we have a bigger trailer this time.”
The wind chill and -15 C weather might have affected this year’s turnout, said Lion Kelly Oatman.
“It’s cold,” Blair nodded. “I know it had snowed the night before last year, but I think we were right around 0 C last year.”
All safety precautions were taken by the volunteers who wore face masks during the outdoor event.
“A lot of people are hunkering down,” said Lion Jim Crocker. “Stuff we normally do we’re not doing.”
Earlier donations before Jan. 8 had already been cashed in for more than $300.
In total, they were confident this year’s winter bottle drive would raise more than $1,000.
“It’s our only source of revenue these days,” said Crocker. “Bingos and that kind of stuff… we can no longer do (in the current COVID-19 climate).
The next Tillsonburg Lions bottle drive will be May 28. More details to come.
“Usually the weekend after the long weekend in May,” said Blair. “Right around that time.”
The Lions thanked everyone who made a donation Saturday, or an advance donation.
“The town support is great. We did get some comments thanking us and we appreciate the support. It all goes back to the community.”