//Bottle Drive for Special Olympics
Submitted by Denis Robillard
Fr. Paul J.F. Wattson

Special Olympics Bottle Drive Final Report July 2022
By Denis Robillard, chairman
The Holy Bible is filled with numerous examples of people helping others. Both old and new testament quotes can be applied when we discuss the idea of helping others in the home, at school or in the wider community. For example, the good book says: ‘Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it, when it is in your power to do so.” (Proverbs 3:27). Or even this quote: “Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. You must open your hand generously to the needy among you.” (Deuteronomy 15:11).

On Saturday July 9th, men and women and teens of our Church of the Atonement parish came out for a few hours to serve their community for the greater good. And we kept those Biblical sayings to heart. All of this for the benefit of the Special Olympics program who run various summer activities in our community.
The 2022 version of our Bottle Drive was unlike 2020 when many delays due to COVID 19 restrictions held back our efforts. The closure of Our Lady of Atonement church cloistered several fund-raising opportunities. In 2021 The Knights of Columbus Father Paul J.F. Wattson local council 8919 were finally able to mount a successful bottle drive campaign on July 10th, 2021, after a long absence.
This year’s big day was earmarked for July 9th, 2022, at Our Lady of Atonement parish, Forest Glade. Once again, persons donating to us remained in their vehicles, while bottles were collected from the trunks of all vehicles. Monetary donations for this event were also safely collected from the drivers. Since the weather was nice and co-operative, we moved to the great outdoors of the church parking lot where we built a command post, drop off location and a table sorting area for the 5-hour event. About a half dozen brother Knights, church members and a flotilla of student volunteers from St. Joseph’s High School and elsewhere were on hand to help sort bottles and to load our vehicles for the return of empties to the Beer Store. A light breakfast of donuts and a pizza lunch was served to motivate and fortify the workers. And working in these small groups, students and adult volunteers were able to collect 4 loads of empties destined for the Beer Store. The day was an unqualified success and the entire day from 9 am to 2 pm ran smoothly. Weather was surely on our side with a comfortable day of seasonable temperature bringing much needed relief as we worked.
Totals for last year’s July (2021) fundraising effort amounted to $910.30. This consisted of $805.10 in bottle returns and over $100 in generous donations ($105.20). That amount now eclipses the $800.00 total raised for the July 6th, 2019, bottle drive. The 2022 fund raising drive was perhaps not as successful as in the past, as bottle donation efforts dropped slightly from previous years. The final tally was $ 604.10 with some amounts still outstanding. This consisted of $392.10 in bottle returns. Our monetary donations were doubled this year to a whopping $212.00. We would like to thank the following donors: John Sabga, Evelyn Dumouchelle, Annette Russell, Leo Viselli, Bobby Rodrigo, Denis Robillard and one anonymous donor. The local Beer Store workers were also very patient with our efforts and played an integral role in this process.
Thank you to all our student volunteers and to the Robillard family and Cora and Ruben Lopez for their time and efforts on this worthy event. A special thank you goes out to Father Rob Rocheleau, Grand Knight David Algudaddy as well as our Deputy Grand Knight Vincente Buglisi, and fellow Knights Dan Pergolesi, John Sabga, Mike Charbonneau who all helped make this event an unqualified success.

See you all next year!


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