Michelle Dubois (left) and Larissa Nelson found that keeping a smile on their faces while sorting empty bottles together was one of the best ways of tackling the mound of empties.

Michelle Dubois (left) and Larissa Nelson found that keeping a smile on their faces while sorting empty bottles together was one of the best ways of tackling the mound of empties.

Annual Dry Grad Bottle Drive returns more than just funds

Grads worked diligently, but kept their spirits up with laughter and camaraderie and the feeling of getting closer to their ultimate goal.

It has become an annual fundraising event for the grads at Lake Cowichan Secondary School.

Dressed in parkas and toques to keep warm, and with a big urn of hot chocolate  brewing and homemade cookies to keep the energy level up, they gather together on a Saturday morning in January under the gazebo at Saywell Park to sort empties.

The LCSS Bottle Drive is one of the biggest events toward raising money for the students for their dry grad, bringing in an estimated $2,000 – $2,500.

“It’s the best fundraiser ever,” said one of the parents who were there as well, pitching in to help with the sorting. “The Duncan Bottle Depot provides us with these bags, then they come and pick everything up when we’re done and give us a cheque!”

The volume of empties — beer cans, wine, beer and liquor bottles — is mind-boggling. Some people save empties for months to donate to the Dry Grad bottle drive. And the truckloads kept arriving to drop off more bags so full they are nearly bursting .

In all, the grads spent about six hours handling empties to earn that money. They worked diligently, but still kept their spirits up with laughter and camaraderie in the air and the feeling of getting a little closer to their ultimate goal.