Nakusp Secondary School grads raise $10,000 from bottle drive

Twenty-four students were busy packing and sorting the bottles during the event. Photo: Andrea Coates

Nakusp Secondary School (NSS) students raised around $10,000 during a recent bottle drive they held outside the school’s parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Twenty-four students and their parents sorted through thousands of bottles that were donated from up to 10 local businesses. A total of 300 bags ended up being packed with bottles.

Event volunteer Andrea Coates said arrangements were made with Chasers Bottle Depot in Vernon to collect the bottles for a reasonable price. The depot has already retrieved most of the bottles and will present a cheque to the NSS grads after they finish counting them.

The money raised will be used to help cover costs for the student’s graduation ceremony next summer.

The grad’s bottle drive looked different than drives in years past because of COVID-19.

“All of us had to wear gloves and masks to mitigate the risk of the virus. We also made sure to physically distance between one another during the event,” said Andrea Coates.

“Since all of the graduates have been studying together this year in one learning group, it wasn’t required for us to physically distance. We just wanted to take extra precautions.”

People ended up working between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to sort all of the bottles. Some of the parents also coordinated a hot dog lunch to motivate everyone to continue working late in the day.

“This was a really good opportunity for our grad class to come together and work as a team,” said Coates.

“They were amazing and I was pleasantly shocked about how hard they worked. They were all positive and upbeat and nobody complained about having to do all the work. This was such a good way to start the year.”

The students will be having a sandbag fundraiser in October and a poinsettia fundraiser in November to help raise more money for their graduation ceremony.

Richelle Coates and Leah Gilliland also helped to make this year’s bottle drive a reality.

READ MORE: Nakusp Secondary School forges ahead with modified grad ceremony


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