Parkrose’s ‘Can Man’ retires

But, while ‘Can Man Dave’ Luce won’t be at the monthly collections – find out how he’s still volunteering to support the Parkrose High School Senior All-night Party …

Volunteers Annette Stevko-Frary and Houston Emmons flank Parkrose “Can Man” Dave Luce, learning the ins and outs of holding their monthly can collection drive.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Since the 1980s, Parkrose neighbor Dave Luce has been affiliated with empty cans and bottles.

No, he doesn’t dive into recycling bins! Instead, Luce has set up “can drives” to gather return-deposit bottles and cans to help nonprofit organizations.

But, on August 4 at Parkrose Middle School, Luce announced that he’s “retiring” from heading up the first-Saturday-of-the-month collection events.

Dave Luce reflects on his volunteer “career” of raising funds by collecting deposit-return bottles and cans.

“I started doing this to help the Cub Scouts,” Luce told East Portland News.

“Then, in 1995, the Bronco Boosters approached me, asking if I’d do a can drive to support their Senior All-night Party. How could I say no? My youngest son was a senior that year!”

Luce recalled the project’s slow start. “One January Saturday, I spent four hours in driveway of the old high school; wearing full rain gear with a down coat. We ended taking in $40 for the effort.”

Combined receipts donated to the Senior All-night Party fund and other projects has since increased thanks to his diligence. Last year, Luce’s efforts raised about $17,000, he said. “Over the past fire years, up until last year, we’ve raised a total of $76,000, thanks to people giving us their return-deposit recyclable containers.”

Helping out at the August can drive are students Katie Meighen and Elizabeth Simkovic.

Can Man continues route collections
“I’m still raising funds the Senior All-night Party with my barrels,” stated Luce. “I have barrels located in businesses, organizations and homes. When they’re filled up, I pick him up and sort them and turn them in.”

If you have a business or organization and would like Luce to drop off a can-collection barrel, call him at (503) 255-3745.

Taking on the mantle of “Parkrose Can Lady” is collection coordinator Patty Meighen.

The monthly can drive will continue, Luce said, as he introduced the new coordinator, Patty Meighen.

“I’m doing this because my son was a freshman in high school this year,” Meighen said.  “And, I’m a good friend PTO President Annette Stevko-Frary, who persuaded me to become the coordinator of the monthly can drives.”

She’ll take care of the project administration and help out every month, Meighen said. And, ‘Capt’n Bob’ Jolin will take in the cans for processing.”

Got cans?” asks Robert “Capt’n Bob” Jolin, who will help coordinate the monthly can drives.

Next collection is September 8
Meighen pointed out that, because of the Labor Day holiday weekend, their can drive won’t take place on September 1.

“Save up your cans and bottles from the holiday weekend, and look for us here on September 8, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.,” she said. “We’ll be at Parkrose Middle School, on NE Shaver St., across from Parkrose High School.”

For more information, contact Patty Meighen at

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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