Camp Winfield manager Rick Harker (from left)

Camp Winfield manager Rick Harker (from left)

Tabs add up to camp for kids

Rona is collecting beer and pop can tabs to raise funds for Camp Winfield

Anyone who has been hanging on to those little aluminum tabs from pop, beer and animal food cans, without really knowing why, can finally put them to good use.

The Vernon Lions Club has long been collecting the tabs, and now Rona has stepped up to be a central drop off location.

The tabs are then delivered to Camp Winfield, an Easter Seal camp for kids with disabilities, which uses them to raise funds to send kids to camp.

“We’ve been collecting tabs for quite a few years,” said Rick Harker, Camp Winfield manager who takes the tabs to a metal recycler who will give him a cheque for them. “That goes to help send kids to camp.”

About 255 children go through the Easter Seals camp every summer, and it costs $2,400 to send a kid therefore the camp takes all the help it can get.

It takes about 1,000 tabs to make one pound, and the price paid, depending on the current rate, is 50 to 70 cents per pound.

The Lions Club urges the community to pitch in to help collect as many tabs as possible, and in fact they suspect there may be a considerable number collecting dust.

“Many people in and around Vernon have been saving pull tabs for quite some time without really knowing why,” said Lion Rose Carson, noting that there is a belief it was for wheelchairs, but locally the tab purpose is to get kids to camp.

“This is a 19-acre destination for children of all ages with various disabilities to have fun in a summer camp environment.”

For some time now, Lions Rose and Dave Carson have been collecting coffee cans, water jugs and bags of tabs from various friends, fellow Lions and groups. But now, thanks to Rona, the entire community has access to a central drop-off which will help make a difference in the lives of children.

“We’ve been partnering with Easter Seals for two or three years now,” said Vernon Rona manager Clint Dickinson.

“This is one that a lot of our staff feel attached to.”

Along with donating wood to build a play structure, Rona staff pitched in for Camp Winfield’s makeover in 2014 and continue to help out with annual clean-ups and events.

For information regarding the tab collection and donations, contact Rose and Dave Carson at 250-549-0445.