Parkrose ‘Can Clan’ continues

Attention Parkrose High graduates: You’ve been challenged to help your alma mater – by bringing your deposit-return containers on March 3 …

In outer East Portland, here – picking up a sack of donated, deposit-return bottles and cans – are Parkrose High Key Club members Matthew Ngo and Lola Moeaki.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For years the Parkrose High “Bronco Boosters” have raised money for scholarships – and especially their Senior All-Night Party – by collecting and redeeming deposit-return bottles and cans during a monthly drive.

But, with deposit-return redemption rates doubled from a nickel to a dime each, fewer folks have been coming by to donated, sighed volunteer Tim Sepich at the February 3 drive.

Many hands make for light work at the monthly Parkrose Bronco Boosters bottle and can drive.

“Not only does our can drive support our Senior All-Night Party, it also supports many of the groups at the school – such as choir, band, sports, and – like today – the Parkrose High Key Club; in fact, nine groups a year pitch in to help out, and each one when they do gets a portion of the proceeds,” Sepich told East Portland News.

The math is simple, Sepich observed: A bag of 50 cans, redeemed at a nickel each, was worth $2.50; but now, the same bag yields $5.00. “It’s not like that extra $2.50 is going to make anyone rich – especially considering the time it takes to bring them to a redemption center, wait in line, wait for a receipt, and wait to cash out,” he pointed out, adding, “but that money really does help fund programs for our kids.”

Long-time volunteer Greg Meighen spends a moment with volunteer Tim Sepich.

He’s been helping out regularly for a couple of years, Sepich said. “But we need more parents of high school students to come out and help us. It’s just that simple. We really need more support from the parents whose kids go to this high school.”

It’s not a major commitment, he reflected; “It’s just a couple of hours, once a month, on a Saturday morning. That’s it. Bring your kids, make it a family affair sorting bottles and cans together, and teach them about community service.”

Challenges Parkrose High graduates

Volunteer Rodney Drake put out his own challenge: “Parkrose alumni, especially of those of you who have benefitted from scholarships and funding of school programs, we challenge you to come and help out,” he said. “Not only might you reacquaint yourself with other alumni, you’ll be honoring the legacy of the ‘Parkrose Can Man’ Dave Luce.”

These members of the Parkrose High Key Club will benefit, receiving some of the proceeds of this month’s bottle and can drive.

The drive continues on March 3
From 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on Saturday, March 3, bring your deposit-return cans and bottles with you to help support these community educational efforts. The drive will be at the Parkrose Middle School front entrance, at 11800 NE Shaver Street, 97220.  For information, contact volunteer Tim Sepich at

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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