The sixth annual Campbell River Hospital Foundation Scrap Metal Challenge kicks off this week – and it’s off to a great start already.
The month-long event is one of the foundation’s major fundraisers each year and sees a huge amount of community support from the public as well as many local businesses, according to event and communications director Carly Pisterzi.
It also helps divert a whole lot of metal from ending up in the landfill. In fact, the initiative won the 2014 Campbell River Stewardship Award for Waste Reduction.
The Scrap Metal Challenge was brought to the foundation six years ago when April Whalen – the special events manager for the Campbell River Hospital Foundation at the time – came to town and mentioned how well a similar initiative was doing in her old hometown of Sudbury, Ont.
The challenge, in its simplest terms, is to see who can collect the most scrap metal over the course of the month, with the proceeds of that effort going to the hospital foundation.
To date, the challenge has raised over $70,000 for lifesaving medical equipment to be housed at the Campbell River Hospital.
Currently, the foundation is raising money for a pair of ventilators for the Emergency Department, which come in at $54,000 each. These machines move oxygen into a patient’s lungs while removing carbon dioxide, helping people breathe easier. The equipment can even breathe for patients who have lost all ability to do so for themselves.
One facet of the initiative is a friendly competition between local businesses. Whichever business collects the most metal earns the right to display the Scrap Metal Cup for a year. The trophy is a repurposed metal sink.
“It’s a very coveted award. People are viciously competing for that sink,” Pisterzi says with a laugh. “No, but seriously, it’s a good, fun, friendly competition that raises a lot of funds for us. They’re giving us money that normally they would get for themselves by doing their own recycling, and we really appreciate their involvement.”
One local business stepped up this year even before the contest was officially underway.
Campbell River Hyundai donated a used car to the cause last week to get the foundation’s effort going.
“All the staff here decided this is a cause they wanted to get behind,” says CR Hyundai owner Scott Kilby. “Normally, we’d take this used car, get it tuned up, get it cleaned up, and then someone would sell it. So this really is three departments agreeing to give up a car that they would make money on and instead giving it to the foundation, because they feel it’s important.”
So right now, Hyundai is in the lead.
But besides the businesses competing for the Scrap Metal Cup, it’s a great opportunity, Pisterzi says, for the public to get rid of unwanted metal, as well.
“We have a lot of great business partners who get involved every year, but it’s also a great opportunity for the public to participate,” Pisterzi says. “I think people are aware that it’s coming every year and maybe kind of hoard their stuff so they can get rid of it in our bin up there (at the City of Campbell River Dogwood Operations Centre). It’s a great way for people to do some cleaning up and help out a great cause while they’re at it.”
For more information on the initiative or how to get involved, contact Pisterzi at firstname.lastname@example.org