Parkrose ‘can crew’ leaders about to retire

Find out why the couple who’ve led the fundraiser of the Parkrose Broncos is now looking to ‘pass on the reins to others’ – perhaps at the event this weekend …

These bags of sorted deposit-return cans collected by the monthly “Parkrose Bronco Boosters Pop Can Drive” help provide funds for school events and scholarships.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Having taken the lead from “Can Man Dave Luce” when he “retired” from the volunteer leadership about eight years ago, it’s now time for current “Parkrose Can Clan” leaders Patty Meighen and Greg Meighen to do the same – and step away from this first-Saturday-of-the-month activity.

The collection of deposit-return bottles and cans has supported, and continues to support, Parkrose School District activities – including several high school clubs and groups, as well as the Senior All-Night Party fund.

Although their own kids long ago graduated from school, Patty and Greg Meighen say they’ve enjoyed their volunteer effort – but are soon going to move out of state.

“We really love doing this, but my own job moved to Phoenix, Arizona,” Patty Meighen told East Portland News. “So my husband, Greg, has been kind enough to continue doing this every month. But it’s a hardship, with me bouncing back and forth between Portland and Phoenix.

“It’s an important effort, because in addition to supporting groups and the Senior Party, the funds raised help the Parkrose Parent Teacher Organization fund scholarships to senior students,” Meighen said. “We’ve seen a little bit of a decrease in contributions, because of the refund going up to 10 cents a bottle or can; so, we’re encouraging people to still keep bringing them in.

“We also have large plastic barrels we can drop off for businesses and other organizations to collect deposit return cans and bottles of their employees; We can also make arrangements to pick up larger-volume can donations, so they don’t have to drop them off.”

Members of the award-winning Parkrose High Debonairs choir show some of the cans they’ve sorted, with the assistance of the school’s renowned Choral Director Lesley Bossert.

The students do most of the work at the mid-County event, Meighen pointed out. The student groups who rotate through in different months help out by taking donations at Parkrose Middle School, and then sorting and bagging the bottles and cans.

Using a large, custom-built trailer, owned by the Parkrose PTO, Greg has been taking the sorted containers to OBRC (Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative) in North Portland every month, which brings in a pretty good chunk of money to the school’s PTO and students groups.

Parkrose High students pitch in, sorting deposit-return bottles and cans.

“We really love meeting all the people who drop by every month to donate their deposit-return bottles and cans, and we also enjoy working with the students,” enthused Meighen. “To your readers: If you’re interested in helping students get funds for traveling to competitions, for performances, and different events, supporting scholarships and other programs, contact me at, and let’s talk!”

Next can drive is Saturday, October 7
Support the Parkrose Bronco Boosters Pop Can Drive on October 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., by taking along your deposit-return cans and bottles to help support their community educational efforts.

They’re back at the front entrance of Parkrose Middle School, located at 11800 NE Shaver Street, 97220.

And, consider taking on the challenge of helping Parkrose kids; consider visiting this monthly event, and learn how YOU can become involved.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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