Community support of bottle drive helps fund Central Kings band trips

Kirk Starratt
Published on January 10, 2016

Central Kings Rural High School band students work to fill a moving truck with donated bottles and cans to help cover the costs of upcoming educational trips.

©Kirk Starratt

CAMBRIDGE - With each bottle and can collected, Central Kings Rural High School band students are a nickel or dime closer to paying for upcoming educational trips.

Band instructor Paul Hutten said school band students are involved in three upcoming trips with a focus on arts, music, performing and team building.

He said this is only his second year as the band teacher at Central Kings but holding a bottle drive to raise funds for trips is a “well established tradition and the community has been extremely supportive of it”, which organizers are thankful for.

“People aren’t surprised when our kids show up,” he said.

About 45 students involved in the Grade 9 band are travelling to Halifax for the Atlantic Band Festival for three days at the end of April.

About 50 students in senior concert band are travelling for workshops in Sackville, New Brunswick, and Montreal, attending a National Arts Centre performance in Ottawa and performing at elementary schools along the way for five days at the beginning of May.

About 25 students involved in the Grade 8 band are travelling with the Coldbrook Grade 8 band for a three-day trip to Fredericton in early June.

Hutten said they’ve been averaging between $25 and $30 per band student per bottle drive, so it’s a substantial fundraiser in terms of reducing trip costs. The shorter Grade 8 and 9 trips cost about $350 per student and the senior concert band trip costs about $650 per student.

He said they try to work within those limits so kids can “work down the greater percentage of it” through various fundraising initiatives or taking on part-time jobs. Central Kings Rural High Band Association treasurer Christina Dort said Discount Car and Truck Rentals generously provides a moving truck which is filled with bottles and cans. With the help of parent volunteers, they canvass the communities of Cambridge and Coldbrook for donations.

“We have eight or nine cars on the road picking up the bottles and then we have the group that is here (at Central Kings) doing the sorting,” Dort said.

Every bag of donations has to be sorted. Any caps are removed and they make sure that the bottles and cans are “clean, organized and ready to go” when taken to the recycler.

“Kids earn their trip,” she said.

Dort points out that bottles or cans can be dropped off at New Minas Recycling anytime in support of the band program at Central Kings.

Did you know?

A pancake breakfast and indoor yard sale fundraiser for the music department, including kids in grades 6 to 12, is being held at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge Feb. 20. The storm date is Feb. 27.