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Trash Turned Into Cash For Escalon Youth Center
Young volunteers were busy at the Escalon Youth Center recycling drive on Saturday, sorting out and separating the cans and bottles, then bagging them up to be returned for cash. All money raised will directly benefit the Youth Center and its programs. Marg Jackson/The Times

More than half a dozen local teens volunteered some of their time on Saturday to aid their own cause – working at the recycling drive to benefit the Escalon Youth Center.

Center director Todd O’Neill said he was extremely pleased with the first time event.

“After we put it in The Times and on Facebook, people started calling,” O’Neill said of promoting the drive a couple of different ways, noting that they offered pick up of the recyclables as well as asking people to drop them off at the Youth Center.

“It was just a great turnout, a lot of people came to bring them here,” he said, noting that he also made many pick-ups of the bottles and cans.

The crew that worked steadily throughout the event on Saturday, uncapping bottles, sorting through the bottles and cans and then bagging them up, included Jake Dietzel, Christopher Davis, Laurie Levers, Hanna Smith-Davis, Tyler Snow, Americus Smith-Davis and Edgar Larios.

“It was a huge success,” O’Neill added. “We don’t have a final count yet but a lot of money was brought in through this.”

The money raised from the recycling drive will go toward the general fund at the Youth Center.

“Helping to keep the lights on, keep the doors open,” O’Neill said. “We’d also like to purchase more entertainment stuff, some video games, maybe another console.”

The drive capped a busy month of February for the Youth Center, which hosted a few different events including a well-attended ‘First Responders Night’ with the community turning out to enjoy games, food and a night of camaraderie with local police, fire and emergency services personnel.

“We’ve just had a lot of community support,” a grateful O’Neill stated. “We’re looking to get our March events lined up within the next couple of days.”